Ontario Investing in Energy Literacy to Help Fight Climate Change
Educational Program Builds Environmentally Responsible Citizens
Ontario is investing $1.35 million over the next three years to educate students on ways to conserve energy and help fight climate change through the Ontario EcoSchools program.
Ontario EcoSchools is an environmental education and certification program for students in kindergarten to grade 12. Program resources help students and schools develop ecological literacy and environmental practices to become environmentally responsible and reduce their environmental footprint.
Funding will support four new initiatives including:
- Providing support to schools going through the EcoSchools certification process
- Encouraging schools to attain Platinum certification, the highest level achievable in the Ontario EcoSchools program
- Conducting a pilot to test student-friendly, online energy dashboards which monitor and display school energy consumption
- Expanding public outreach efforts through increased school events and media exposure
The EcoSchools program supports Ontario's efforts to create jobs and economic growth through the transition to a green economy, and builds on the province's policy of putting conservation first and reducing electricity costs. Conservation offers families and businesses a way to reduce their bills, helps businesses create jobs and drive economic growth, contributes to a sustainable future and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Promoting environmental stewardship and reducing electricity costs is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- The EcoSchools program was developed by the Toronto District School Board in 2002 and subsequently expanded across the province in 2005.
- Ontario EcoSchools is the largest environmental education program in the province, reaching 95 per cent of students enrolled in Ontario.
- Ontario is providing close to $450,000 per year for three years to support Ontario EcoSchools projects that are helping future generations continue to save energy and fight climate change.
- School boards access the EcoSchools program free of charge. Ontario EcoSchools operates with support from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Energy and is administered by York University.
- For every $1 invested in energy efficiency, Ontario has avoided about $2 in costs to the electricity system.
- Ontario has set a conservation target of 30 TWh in 2032, equivalent to more than all the power used by the city of Toronto in 2014.
“Early outreach for students and engagement with teachers and parents helps make energy conservation and environmental stewardship a priority for everyone in Ontario. Thanks to Ontario EcoSchools, we are raising today’s students to be tomorrow’s conservation and environmental leaders.”
“Becoming an Ontario EcoSchool empowers school communities to reduce waste, green their school grounds, and conserve energy through environmental learning and daily actions. The program nurtures strong EcoTeams that promote positive change within and beyond school walls. This generous support from the Ministry of Energy will engage even more schools across the province.”
“This is a welcome announcement for our District. One of the key strategies of the OCDSB is to model sustainability, smart energy use and sound environmental practices for our students and today's announcement will help us achieve these goals.”