Certification Overview

Schools participating in Sustainable Jersey for Schools can complete actions to achieve points towards two levels of certification: Bronze and  Silver.

Bronze certification means a school has made a commitment to sustainability and succeeded in implementing significant first steps, while silver certification means a school has made significant progress in a number of categories toward sustainability and is a state-wide and national leader. 

The bronze level of certification requires:

  • The establishment of a mandatory green team
  • Implementation of 2 OUT OF 10priority actions
  • Actions must be completed in 6 OF 19 categories
  • A total of 150 points

The silver level of certification requires:

  • The establishment of a mandatory green team
  • Implementation of  3 out of 10priority actions
  • Actions must be completed in 8 of 19 categories
  • A total of 350 points

Detailed Requirements

Each level of certification requires the establishment of a mandatory green team.  Schools accumulate points for taking actions in a variety of categories in the respective certification level.  Along with attaining a certain number of points, a number of “priority actions” must be completed in order to qualify for certification.  The associated number of points, priority actions, and actions taken within a certain number of categories for bronze and silver certification listed below must be met. 

Priority Actions

There are a variety of actions districts and schools can take to become more green and sustainable to earn Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.  As indicated, priority actions must be completed, and can be chosen from the following actions:

  • School Carbon Footprint
  • Energy Efficiency For School Facilities
  • Green Building Policy
  • Green Purchasing Policy
  • Indoor Air Quality Review
  • Professional Development for Sustainability
  • Community Education & Outreach
  • Student Learning (Priority Category)
  • School Wellness Council
  • Waste Audit


All actions taken by schools to score points toward certification must be accompanied by documentary evidence and will be reviewed by project partners and issue area experts. Only efforts that meet the standards described in the actions will be accepted and counted toward certification. 


Once certified, a school's certification status lasts for 3 program years, after which a school will need to recertify.  However, a school may recertify at any point prior to this third year.  Furthermore, a certified school is able to recertify at either level and does not need to advance to, or retain silver certification.  Please note that individual actions expire independently of your certification.  Therefore, some actions will be marked as expired and need to be updated when you recertify.