An international accreditation that has recognised and rewarded young people’s environmental actions for over 25 years.

Applying for an Eco-Schools Green Flag is the perfect way to acknowledge, reward and celebrate the ecological achievements of young people. It clearly demonstrates that their hard work is appreciated and it provides them with the confidence and motivation to continue actively engaging with environmental issues now and throughout their lifetimes. It creates the next generation of innovative, inspirational environmentalists and tells local communities that a school is forward-thinking and actively engaged in protecting our planet.

Overview

Schools are eligible to apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag when they have addressed at least three of our seven Themes with the seven Step process. That is, each Theme covered must have documented evidence in each of the seven Steps.

How quickly your school achieves Green Flag accreditation is up to your Eco-Committee. It may be feasible for your school to cover three Themes within one school year, but if it’s not, don’t let this discourage you!

If your school can only tackle one Theme in a school year, you can still submit an application and be eligible for an Eco-Schools Bronze award. If you keep this theme up the next year, and add a second Theme, at the end of that year you can submit an application for an Eco-School Silver Award. Keep both of these Themes up, and adding a third the next year will make your school eligible for an Eco-Schools Green Flag!

Eco-Schools is a flexible and adaptable program, therefore the Award Criteria should be adapted as necessary for each establishment’s individual context. The Award Criteria are based on the Seven Steps as each Green Flag Application is required to demonstrate aspects of each element. You can download the Green Flag Criteria to assist your school along the way. We recommend checking out this document at the start of your journey.

To apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag, you will first have to log on to your Eco-Schools account by clicking ‘Login’ at the top of this website. Once on your school’s account, you will be able to view all of the compulsory questions that need to be completed over the course of the academic year to allow your Eco-Committee to apply for their Eco-Schools Green Flag. You can answer the questions (and find resources to help) by clicking on each of the green Seven Step sections on your screen.

In order to apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag you must have answered all of the compulsory Seven Step questions. To help you understand how much work  you should put into each Step, you may think of  the Green Flag being worth 100 points,  the Seven Step sections are worth a different amount of points – this is based on how much work you and your Eco-Committee have to do to meet the international Eco-Schools criteria and ‘complete’ this step. 

  • Step 1 Eco-Committee: 15 points
  • Step 2 Environmental Review: 15 points
  • Step 3 Action Plan: 15 points
  • Step 4 Curriculum Links: 10 points
  • Step 5 Informing and Involving: 15 points
  • Step 6 Monitoring and Evaluation: 25 points
  • Step 7 Eco-Code: 5 points

You and your Eco-Committee can start completing the Eco-Schools Green Flag application whenever you like, and continue to answer questions when you have completed each of the criteria. You do not have to answer all of the questions on each step card before progressing to the next – you are able to answer any question, from any of the cards, in any order. For instance, your Eco-Committee may have completed the criteria for Step 7 (Eco-Code) and feel ready to answer these questions before Step 4 (Curriculum Links). This is no problem, simply answer the Step 7 questions first!

Eco-Coordinators and their Eco-Committees can apply for the Eco-Schools Green Flag when:

  • They have completed and each of the seven steps and have evidence gathered.

An Eco-Schools Green Flag rewards and acknowledges schools who have completed each of the Eco-Schools Seven Steps. This means that, during the annual application window, Eco-Committees and Coordinators are still able to apply for their Eco-Schools Green Flag even if they have not completed all of the topic actions in their Action Plan. Some Eco-Committees may decide to plan ambitious environmental projects that span two, or even three, Eco-Schools Green Flag applications and our programme and its criteria are intentionally flexible to allow this!

By focusing on progression through the Eco-Schools Seven Steps, our assessment process is intended to be positive, celebrating the improvements that Eco-Committees and Eco-Coordinators have made, rather than focusing on the negative (changes that haven’t been made yet).

If you started your Journey in Term 1, we would suggest getting everything together at the start of Term 4.

When you have completed all of the compulsory Seven Step questions and submitted your Eco-Schools Green Flag application the Eco-Schools Team aim to get in touch within two weeks (although depending on the number of Green Flag Applications received this may take longer) to let you know whether your application has been successful.

If your Eco-Schools Green Flag application has been successful, you will be contacted by the Eco-Schools Team to notify you. You will then be sent an invoice for $350 +GST to cover the cost of the Eco-Schools Green Flag and program administration. Upon payment of your invoice, you will be sent an Eco-Schools Green Flag, certificate and feedback letter. At this point you will also be able to download an Eco-Schools Green Flag logo to use on your school’s website and letterheads.

If your Eco-Schools Green Flag application has not been successful, the Eco-Schools Team will contact you to notify you about the result. The team will then provide detailed feedback on what is missing from your Eco-Schools Green Flag application, or any details that require additional clarification. You will then be given a chance to resubmit your application. If upon resubmission your application is now successful, the process will be as above. If your application is still not successful the Eco-Schools Team will get in touch to discuss next steps and you will be liable to pay the $350 +GST Eco-Schools Green Flag Assessment cost.

It is free to register with the Eco-Schools program, however, should a school choose to apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag we then ask schools to pay $350 + GST upon submission of their online Eco-Schools Green Flag application.

Keep Australia Beautiful is a small non-for-profit, and the Eco-Schools funding we receive is minimal. In essence this payment means the Eco-Schools program can continue operating across Australia, recognising the fantastic environmental actions of young people throughout the country and helping the Eco-Schools team engage new schools in environmental action and education.

Schools do receive an actual flag, made from recycled plastic bottles, when they achieve our Eco-Schools Green Flag! The flag can be seen in the banner image above and it measures 100x150cm. It is then up to a school to decide where they place their flag. Many schools choose to erect a flagpole, and you can find government advice on flying flags here. Remember, the Australian Flag must be given precedence, and it is encouraged (by both the Government and Eco-Schools Australia) that you fly the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Flag if you have multiple flag poles.

You may choose to hang your Eco-Schools Green Flag in school canteens, office, main hall or prominent entrance point – it is entirely up to each school.

No, the application is the same, you will just indicate how many Themes you have covered.

Achievement in Eco-Schools Awards is focused on the school’s progress in establishing the 7-Step framework, rather than the installation of specific measures or infrastructure or evidence of a low carbon footprint. This approach is chosen to:

  • help schools make continual and achievable improvements to the environmental management of the school
  • maintain focus on curriculum development & community engagement in the themes being addressed
  • enable all schools to participate, whatever their starting point or available resources
Register today!