Donate Donate

Bronze Award

Students planting plants in the ground

The Bronze Award is the first of three award levels in the Eco-Schools USA program. For many, this is the first symbol of success in the Eco-Schools USA program. To be eligible for a Bronze Award, a school must follow the Seven Step Framework to complete at least one pathway.

Bronze Awards are self-assessed by school applicants. Registered Eco-Schools may submit an assessment through their school dashboard to receive the award and download a certificate of recognition.



Already earned a Bronze Award? Download a sample press release to personalize and share with media.

Award Criteria

A school must earn 100 points to receive a Bronze Award. To reach 100 points, actions must be taken at each of the seven steps as outlined below.

Download the Bronze Award checklist to track your school's progress and confirm you are meeting the criteria to receive a Bronze Award.

Bronze Award Checklist

Step 1: Form an Eco-Action Team

  • The school has identified an Eco-Action Team comprised of a diverse group of teachers and students. (5 points)
  • The Eco-Action Team meets four times a year, and informal minutes are kept at each meeting. (5 points)
  • The Eco-Action Team informs the whole school of team actions and events. (5 points)

Total: 15 points

Step 2: Conduct an Environmental Audit

  • A pathway audit of the school is conducted using the Eco-Schools USA baseline audit form for the team’s chosen pathway. (5 points)
  • Students are involved in conducting the audit. (5 points)
  • The Eco-Action Team analyzes the data and draws conclusions. (5 points)
  • Results of the audit are shared with the whole school community. (5 points)

Total: 20 points | Required documentation for upload: Baseline Pathway Audit

Step 3: Create an Eco-Action Plan

  • Results from the pathway audit are used to develop an action plan that is focused on one Eco-Schools USA pathway. (5 points)
  • The Eco-Action Plan is shared with the whole school community. (5 points)
  • The Eco-Action Plan is used to take at least one action at the school to address an Eco-Schools USA pathway for improvement. (5 points)

Total: 15 points | Required documentation for upload: Action Plan

Step 4: Monitor and Evaluate Progress

  • The Eco-Action Team monitors progress toward achieving actions stated in the Eco-Action Plan. (5 points)
  • Successes and challenges are noted in meeting minutes. (5 points)
  • The post-action audit for the selected pathway has been completed. (10 points)

Total: 20 points | Required documentation for upload: Evidence of progress (post-action audit, photos, videos)

Step 5: Link to Curriculum

  • At most grade levels students are engaged in interdisciplinary, authentic learning experiences around environmental topics. (10 points)

Total: 10 points

Step 6: Involve the Community

  • The school has a prominent, designated way to communicate with the whole school and greater community, such as a bulletin board, website, or newsletter that details Eco-Schools USA activities and accomplishments. (10 points)

Total: 10 points

Step 7: Create an Eco-Code

  • An Eco-Code is developed that includes input from the whole school, and is agreed upon and adopted. (10 points)

Total: 10 points | Required documentation for upload: Copy of the Eco-Code