The need to involve young people in finding solutions to sustainable development challenges at a local level was identified at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 (officially, the UN Conference on Environment & Development).  The Eco-Schools programme emerged in 1994 and was introduced into the UK in 1995.  There are now 53 countries across the world involved in the Eco-Schools programme.

The Eco-Schools Scotland programme is made up of 7 elements:-

  • establishing an Eco-Committee;
  • carrying out an Environmental Review;
  • developing an Action Plan;
  • developing an Eco-Code;
  • monitoring & evaluating;
  • highlighting Links to the Curriculum; and
  • Involving the wider Community

The elements incorporate 10 topics:

  • Biodiversity;
  • Energy;
  • Food & the Environment;
  • Health & Well-being;
  • Litter;
  • School Grounds;
  • Sustaining our World;
  • Transport;
  • Waste Minimisation; and
  • Water.


Once a school has registered on the programme and implemented the seven elements, it can apply for an award.  The first two levels of award are Bronze and Silver, with the top level the Green Flag award, which must be renewed every two years.

Eco-Schools Scotland