Silver Award Criteria

 silver award crest

To be eligible for the Silver Award, a school must accomplish the criteria under each of the Seven Steps below, and must apply online for the award. The online application contains all of the information below, and the school must complete this self-assessment. If the application is successfully entered and all criteria met, the school will be awarded the Eco-Schools USA Silver Award. You will be able to download and print a personalized certificate of achievement.

>> Download a Silver Award checklist. This checklist will help you track your school's progress through the Eco-Schools USA program and confirm that you are meeting criteria to apply for a Silver award.


>> Download a press release that you can personalize and send out to publicize that your school has received an Eco-Schools USA award.


Don't wait until you apply for the Green Flag to upload all your documentation and evidence!

What to submit with you Silver Award self-assessment:

  • Update your dashboard.  We will be looking at your goals, accomplishments, and metrics.  Please add a minimum of three additional photographs and a video (video is optional).
  • Upload your pathway audit and action plan that was completed to fulfill the Silver Award criteria.  Upload as a .pdf file to the Silver Award form on your dashboard.
  • Upload any other documentation and/or evidence you feel will be helpful in evaluating your sustainability work.


To receive a Silver Award, you need to earn 200 points. The actions noted below must be taken for each of the Seven Steps as follows:

Eco-Action Committee (30 points total)

  1. The school has identified an Eco-Action Team which is composed of students, teachers and community members. (10 points)
  2. The Eco-Action Team meets a minimum of six times a year. (10 points)
  3. Students are part of the decision-making process and share responsibility for keeping minutes at each meeting. (5 points)
  4. Student members of the Eco-Action Team share information with the whole school. (5 points)

Environmental Audit (35 points total)

  1. A formal Environmental Audit of the school is completed (utilizing the Eco-Schools USA template) for at least two pathways. (15 points)
  2. Students play an active role in conducting the Environmental Audit. (10 points) 
  3. Results of the audit are shared with the whole school. (5 points)
  4. We recommend that you conduct an audit annually to measure your progress. However, for this award level, you need only complete it once. (5 points)

Eco-Action Plan (35 points total)

  1. The Eco-Action Team uses results from the formal Environmental Audit to develop a detailed Eco-Action Plan that has quantifiable targets and a timeframe for completing them. The plan addresses at least two Eco-Schools pathways. (20 points)
  2. A range of actions are planned to mitigate environmental problems. (10 points)
  3. The Eco-Action Plan is shared with whole school and greater community. (5 points)

Monitoring and Evaluation (35 points total)

  1. The Eco-Action Team monitors and reviews progress against the Eco-Action Plan's timeframe and targets. (15 points)
  2. Successes and challenges are reported to the whole school. (5 points)
  3. The school shows significant progress on one-large scale project that is focused on at least two Eco-Schools pathways. (5 points)
  4. Metrics data is entered on the award application for the two pathways (or more) on which your school is focusing. (10 points) 

Linking to the Curriculum (25 points total)

  1. Students have an opportunity at all grade levels and across disciplines to address environmental issues in the classroom, on the school site or in the local community. (15 points)
  2. Students' experiences with environmental issues are integrated into the curriculum and inquiry-based. (10 points)

Informing the Community (20 points total) 

  1. The school has a prominent, designated way to communicate with the whole school and greater community such as a bulletin board, website or newsletter which details Eco-Schools activities. (10 points)
  2. The whole school, along with volunteers from throughout the community, engage in a number of Eco-schools activities. (10 points)

Eco-Code (20 points total)

  • The Eco-Action Team develops an Eco-Code with input from the whole school. The code is then agreed upon, adopted, and displayed by the school. (20 points)

Login to Eco-Schools USA

Join Eco-Schools USA 

Get our monthly emails!

Getting Started
Learn About the Steps

It is important that you have moved forward towards establishing each of the Seven Steps before applying for one of the three Eco-School USA awards.

Learn more the Seven Steps.

Find Your Pathways
Using the Seven Step Framework to guide your efforts, Eco-Schools provides you the flexibility to determine which of the ten pathways to sustainability will best help you and your students meet their goals.  Learn more about the ten pathways.
Green Flag Schools
Class with NWF Eco-Schools Green FlayWe've awarded Green Flags to Savannah Country Day School, Boston Latin School, and Lanier Middle School!