Six Of The Most Sustainable Schools In The World

Whilst travel might not be on the top of everyone’s priorities right now, sustainability really is. We can learn a lot from each other to improve how sustainable we are as a society and within education – especially from those sustainable schools that are already doing everything right. I’ve collaborated with school trip provider STA Travel Education as part of their #FootprintsNotForests campaign. We’re diving head first into the eco-friendliest educational establishments on the planet, inspiring teachers everywhere to go green – read on to find out more about the most sustainable schools in world!

***This is original content from STA Travel Education***

The Green School, Indonesia

Drenched in bamboo, surrounded by animals and immersed in a lush jungle. No, you’re not on your honeymoon, this is the setting for one of the eco-friendliest schools on the planet!

It really is as green as they come! This school in Bali uses energy from bamboo sawdust to cook school lunches and had PhD students re-design their renewable energy system. The school have even lobbied against the Balinese government to ban the use of plastic bags.

Children learning in a classroom

University of California, USA

If you think California is full of tree-huggers, well then, you’d be right! The university has graced the top three on the GreenMetric ranking, and focuses on utilising the minds of their students to paint a sustainable future.

The university has an aim of being carbon neutral by 2025, focusing on achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Their student housing has the highest possible efficiency ranking; they search for ways to reduce food waste on campus, as well as reducing energy usage, and creating communities where sustainable choices are at the top of the agenda.

Uaso Nyiro Primary School, Kenya

This school is fighting against droughts. They have done this by introducing a unique architectural design. This design means the school have the ability to collect almost 350,000 litres of water a year, when the downpour percentage is high.

The structure was created by locals, with local materials. Water harvesting has changed the lives of students and the local community; it has even been used to irrigate an onsite vegetable garden. The unique structure creates a micro-climate, perfect for a learning environment.

Children holding hands in a circle

Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands

According to the GreenMetric ranking, WUR is the greenest and most sustainable university in the world. Wageningen University took the number 1 position in 2019, for the third year in a row.

This university offers 19 BSc degrees and 30 MSc degrees with a focus on sustainability. With 44 other partners, the university strongly endorses the Wageningen Climate Plan 2017-2021. This has a focus on steps towards being climate-neutral.

Since 2010, the university has seen a 49% reduction in carbon. From their own wind turbines, to onsite thermal storage and sustainability criteria, we’d say this university is up there as one of the greenest in the world.

Students on campus at a university which is one of the most sustainable schools in the world

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

This Northern powerhouse is leading the UK university leagues when it comes to going green, boasting a top three place in the People & Planet University League 2020. The university offers carbon literacy training, clothing & book exchanges and employs student sustainability ambassadors. MMU have committed to recycling 60% of waste by the end of 2020, and being a zero-carbon university by 2038.


Sing Yin Secondary School, Hong Kong

Once awarded the ‘Greenest School on Earth’ it’s pretty clear this school is setting the bar when it comes to sustainability. The school utilises a solar light tube system, the first to be installed in Hong Kong. However, installation of this system is not cheap. It’s estimated to cost HK$248 million to build the 30-classroom facility, HK$20 million more than a school of the same size.

It’s not just the architecture that’s getting a facelift, the school curriculum now includes modules in relation to green architecture & sustainability. The teachers hope that a focus on eco-consciousness will inspire the next generation to put theory into practise.

Students jumping in the air outside

The authors of this blog post, STA Travel Education, specialise in creating bespoke educational trips. Their geography school trips take into consideration environmental impact and essential modules in sustainability. Check out their school trips to London for a local educational & immersive experience.

If you’re currently in education, what do you think your current institution could improve upon in terms of sustainability? And what do you think we can all learn personally from these sustainable schools? Share in the comments, and make sure to like and pin if you enjoyed this post! You might also enjoy these articles:

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15 thoughts on “Six Of The Most Sustainable Schools In The World

  1. These schools sound amazing, I would have loved to have gone to The Green School. Also, I never knew that Manchester University was so green and sustainable! It’s so encouraging to read about all of these.

  2. This was a fascinating read! I was shocked to see Manchester Met on the list, I wasn’t expecting to see anywhere in the UK listed. The thought of a university being carbon neutral as soon as 2025 blows my mind a little bit. Great to see the efforts being made, it makes me really hopeful that others will follow x


  3. As an educator, this makes me so happy to see! I wish more schools would do their part to become more sustainable.

  4. I’m really pleasantly surprised to see the Manchester Met on this list! I wouldn’t have expected the UK to feature at all, but this just shows what’s possible when institutions really put the effort in. I love that there are so many creative solutions and ideas being developed to help introduce sustainability in education. It’s really interesting to hear about and makes me very hopeful for the future!

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