Backgrounder - Greening Ontario's Schools

    TORONTO, April 21 /CNW/ -

    Investing In Green, Energy-Efficient Learning Environments

    Energy audits, energy efficient heating and cooling and the
reconfiguration of existing school spaces will help make more than 1,000 of
Ontario's publicly funded schools better places to learn.
    A $550-million, two-year investment will help make schools more energy
efficient, while supporting a stronger and greener economy and creating and
sustaining over 5,500 jobs. The investment will also help keep costs down for
boards and reduce impacts on the environment by:

    Investment          Project Examples                 Benefits
    $100 million   - energy audits                 - energy savings
                   - energy management systems     - better learning
                   - smart thermostats                environments
                   - light occupancy sensors       - allows for best use of
                                                      retrofit dollars
                                                   - learning opportunities
                                                      about energy
                                                   -  creates jobs
    $300 million   - energy efficient heating      - more consistent
                      and cooling systems             temperatures throughout
                   - high efficiency windows,         the year
                      roofs and boilers            - energy savings
                                                   - better learning
                                                   - learning opportunities
                                                      about energy
                                                   - creates jobs
    $150 million   - reconfiguring existing        - improved learning
                      student space                   environment for
                   - replacing old, inefficient       students
                      portables with new school    - learning opportunities
                      additions                       about energy
                                                   - creates jobs

    Other Supports For Safe, Healthy Learning Environments

    -   Good Places to Learn: a $4.8 billion investment to repair, rebuild
        and expand schools across the province. To date, almost 12,000
        renewal projects are underway or completed, and include replacing
        roofs, windows and boilers. Since 2003, more than 200 new schools
        have been opened or are under construction, with plans for an
        additional 100 schools underway
    -   Green Schools Pilot Initiative: piloting new green products and
        technologies at schools
    -   Energy Conservation Officer: to identify and promote best practices
        for energy management and conservation at schools
    -   Utility Consumption Database: to track school's electricity and
        natural gas consumption and give boards a tool to set and measure
        energy conservation targets
    -   Green Schools Resource Guide: to provide boards with planning and
        design guidelines on how to build a green school
    -   Expert Panel on Capital Standards: to identify best practices in
        energy efficient school design, construction and capital project

    Environmental Education

    Teaching students about the importance of environmental stewardship from
an early age can help position them for success in the green economy of the
future. Starting in fall 2009, schools will begin implementing a new policy
framework, created as part of the advice of the Curriculum Council and
recommendations made by a working group on environmental education chaired by
Dr. Roberta Bondar (

    The new framework complements other initiatives to support the
environment, including:

    -   Embedding environmental education in all curriculum
    -   Offering Specialist High Skills Majors related to the environment at
        over 25 schools
    -   Offering new courses in environmental science
    -   Working with Ontario EcoSchools to help teachers plan environmentally
        focused classroom programs and with schools to reduce their
        environmental impact. EcoSchools has received $1 million to date, and
        will get another $500,000 for 2009-10.


                                                       Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries, (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Education

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