Step 7 - Create Your Eco-Code

The Eco-Code states your school's environmental values in a memorable way for both students and members of the greater community.

Sidney Lanier Middle School Recycling Art Poster


The Eco-Code is a mission statement for your school and should be reflective of both your Eco-Action Plan and your curriculum. It should demonstrate, in a clear and imaginative way, your school's commitment to improving its environmental performance. It should be memorable, familiar and agreed upon by the whole school community. Many schools have used creative competitions to develop their Eco-Codes.

It is crucial that students play a key role in the development of the Eco-Code, as this will give them a greater sense of responsibility toward the values the Eco-Code represents. The content of the Eco-Code should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it continues to reflect the school's aims and targets.

How the Eco-Code is formatted is entirely up to the school. It could be a list of statements, a song or rap, or a poem. The format should be appropriate for the ages and abilities of the students.

The Eco-Code should be prominently displayed throughout the school. For instance, post it on your Eco-Schools notice board and website, in every classroom, in communal areas, and in the staff room. The Eco-Code should also be presented to the local community through the press or at events related to your Eco-Schools program.

Sample Eco-Code (from Eco-Schools Programme Ireland)

ry Recycling Ashbourne Shows How

Paper will not be wasted;
All pages in copy will be filled;
Photocopies will be backed;
Every box, paper and cardboard will be reused, recycled and therefore reduced;
Reduction of paper is our aim.

Awards Criteria

Bronze Award

  • The Eco-Action Team, with input from the whole school, develops an Eco-Code that is then agreed upon and adopted.

Silver Award

  • The Eco-Action Team, with input from the whole school, develops an Eco-Code that is then agreed upon, adopted and displayed.

Green Flag Award

  1. The whole school and greater community is given the opportunity to make suggestions on developing (or refining and enhancing) the Eco-Code.
  2. The Eco-Action team takes suggestions, refines the Eco-Code and takes it to the full school for adoption.
  3. The Eco-Code is prominently displayed for all to read as they enter the school.
  4. The Eco-Code is reviewed every year as part of review process to ensure that it is still relevant.


Sources: Eco-Schools Programme Ireland, Eco-Schools Programme, Eco-Schools Programme Scotland

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Green Ribbon Schools
Dept of Education 

The U.S. Department of Education announced in April 2011 the creation of the Green Ribbon Schools program to recognize schools that are creating healthy and sustainable learning environments and teaching environmental literacy. Click here to learn more!

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.