• To encourage schools/academic institutions to become more actively involved in environmental issues at a practical and local level; and
  • To develop skills and understanding among the students, faculty and school administrators in initiating active responses and increasing community awareness and participation on environmental concerns.


  • DENR-EMB. The Search is part of the response of the DENR, through the EMB, to Republic Act No.9512 (An Act to Promote Environmental Awareness through Environmental Education), which requires all public and private schools to integrate environmental education in their curricula at all levels.
  • Department of Education (DepEd). Through DepEd’s environmental education programs, the Filipino youth are empowered to act on environment issues. DepEd released Memo No. 480, Series of 2010 for the implementation of the Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools.
  • Commission on Higher Education (CHEd). As implementing partner, CHEd released a Memorandum dated July 28, 2010 to encourage all private, state, and local colleges and universities to participate in environmental activities and initiate solutions to environment-related concerns.
  • Smart Communications, Inc. SMART is supporting the nationwide competition under Kabalikat sa Kalikasan, its community service program geared towards the protection and preservation of the environment.

2013 Sustainable Schools Grand National Winners


First: Dubinan Elementary School (Dubinan, Santiago City, Region 2 - Cagayan Valley)
Second: Koronadal Central Elementary School (Koronadal City, South Cotabato, Region 12 - SOCCKSARGEN)
Third: Kibawe Central School (Kibawe, Bukidnon, Region 10 - Northern Mindanao)


First: Ateneo de Davao University - High School Unit (Matina, Davao City, Region 11 - Davao Region)
Second: Dona Remedios Trinidad High School (Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan, Region 3 - Central Luzon)
Third: Diadi National High School (Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya, Region 2 - Cagayan Valley)


First: Visayas State University (VisCa, Baybay City, Leyte, Region 8 - Eastern Visayas)
Second: Miriam College (Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, National Capital Region)
Third: Ateneo de Manila University (Loyola Heights, Quezon City, National Capital Region)

Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools

“Overcoming poverty, gender equality, health promotion, environmental conservation and protection, rural transformation, human rights, intercultural understanding and peace, sustainable production and consumption, cultural diversity, and information and communication technologies – these are the key themes under the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) that has been declared for the years 2005-2014.

Education for sustainable development centers on awareness of sustainable development issues, enhancing knowledge, influencing values and attitudes, and encouraging responsive behavior and learning that leads to action. Information is a major component of education and a continuous campaign for massive environmental awareness is indeed necessary.


Under the country’s local response to the UNDESD, included in the National Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainable Development is a national program that would encourage schools to establish sustainable and eco-friendly schools.

The school system is a vital part of our basic learning and is seen as a powerful vehicle for change. The school population, comprising of the students, teaching and non-teaching personnel, constitute a sizeable percentage of the national population. As such, any program focused on advocacy and other multi-faceted program of activities done within the school system especially relating to environmental concerns needs to be documented, encouraged, and recognized.


Sustainable and Eco-Friendly schools may be described as environment-friendly schools that have initiated and integrated in their instruction, research, extension and/or administration, programs which are environment-related. The promotion of this program for the establishment and/or strengthening of sustainable and eco-friendly schools in the country had been enshrined as a priority in the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan for 2008-2012 and likewise in the Roadmap for the Implementation of Republic Act No. 9512 (Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008) under the National Environmental Education Action Plan (2009-2014).


In 2009, the National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools was launched, as a partnership program among the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, thru the Environmental Management Bureau, the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, with SMART Communications, Inc. Nine schools were declared as national champions, with the best being the following: Peñablanca East Central School in Cagayan for Elementary; La Castellana National High School in Negros Occidental for High School; and Palawan State University in Palawan for College.


For 2011, another National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools is in place, to give recognition to the environmental initiatives of schools over the country. The National Search that will give recognition awards to Best Schools is planned to repeat periodically.


The following can be adopted in pursuit of sustainable eco-friendly schools:


  • developing environmental policies for the school
  • physical cleanliness, orderliness and beautification of the school
  • energy conservation and demand management
  • water conservation/water management (maintenance of potable water)
  • paper conservation/paper recycling
  • waste reduction, waste segregation, recycling and composting
  • air, water and soil pollution control
  • seedling production/vegetable gardening and marketing
  • reforestation and/or nursery establishment
  • establishment of a botanical garden
  • herbarium
  • establishment of bio-park
  • environmental audits of school’s operations and facilities
  • integration of environmental themes into the school curriculum
  • conduct of in-service environmental training for faculty members
  • development of environmental support instructional materials
  • offering of environmental degrees/certificate programs
  • environment and natural resource-related research works and studies
  • linkages and exchanges on the environment with the following sectors: national government agencies, non-government organizations, religious organizations, local government units, business and industry sector, among others
  • environmental awareness and community education
  • holding of green fairs and environmental exhibits/sale of green products
  • holding of seminars and/or conferences/symposia
  • holding of eco-tours or ecological destinations
  • healthy lifestyle campaigns
  • climate change adaptation and mitigation programs

Some of these programs can take the form of: litter watch; beach eco-watch; tap watch; bantay-ulan; bantay-dagat; bantay-gubat; land care, and the like.