Millions of students mobilized to conserve energy

Go Green Initiative is developing an internet program for schools and families on awareness of energy conservation.

"I actively support this project, to which I want to bring my expertise on energy related issues to set up the educational program, as well as my professional network of experts."

Edwin Piñero

The nonprofit Go Green Initiative ("Visez vert" - GGI) is the world leader in setting up environmental action plans in schools and universities, by involving the families, corporations and local authorities. Since it was created in July 2002, GGI has been active in the 50 American states, 71 countries, and on five continents. Its action has averted the dumping of more than 5 000 tons of recyclable materials across the world, preserved more than 120 000 m3 of water, prevented the emission of 3 800 tons of CO2 and saved 34 500 barrels of oil and nearly 20 000 MWh. More than 2.5 million students and teachers participate in Go Green's initiatives worldwide, on the basis of a voluntary and collaborative commitment. The nonprofit is supported by the National School Boards Association and the National Recycling Coalition.

A worldwide educational program

The project calls for the development of an online training program on energy. The idea is to help the members of GGI to understand the environmental impacts of their energy decisions and their sustainability, and then to show them what they can do to reduce their energy impact and that of their entourage. This educational program is offered free on the GGI web site and on the pages in the social networks (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Slideshare). It is specifically aimed at the 300 000 teachers of its network in the 2 200 committed schools, located throughout the United States and in45 countries of the world, as well as the families of the 2.5 million students concerned, since the nonprofit believes that education also happens at home.

A comprehensive education

The web site enables them to:

  • learn about energy consumption associated with food production, water sanitation, transportation, the manufacture of everyday objects, and thereby identify the areas hardest hit by an energy shortage;
  • measure their own energy consumption and that of their commune;
  • assess the necessary/possible efforts to reduce their consumption and that of their commune, both in terms of reduction and also the optimization of energy uses;
  • understand how energy consumption and CO2 emissions are connected and the importance of the carbon footprint;
  • measure the carbon footprint caused by their energy consumption;
  • learn about the various energy sources and compare them in terms of cost, environmental impact and sustainability;
  • find out where the energy consumed in a commune comes from and how much of it is renewable;
  • engage with the local authorities and other organizations to optimize the use of the various energies and to promote alternative energies.

Interactive communication tools

Each theme is illustrated by a 5 to 10 minute all-publics video, usable alone or alongside presentations, slide shows and mobile applications. Each one is accompanied by a press release at launch, allowing for the broadest possible dissemination. The educational texts are designed to answer the questions asked by all the publics, of all ages and educational levels. Cybernauts are guided in their navigation to other web sites to delve deeper or toward activities or projects illustrating the lesson. GGI is also creating online surveys and a forum for exchanges with other participants.

Space left for personal initiative

GGI also plans online conferences during which the cybernauts can aim questions at experts. They are recorded and archived on the site. Video conferences can also be organized specially for teachers and their classes on specific themes. Each participant is encouraged by GGI to post, on the site and the social networks, his own videos on his way of using the new knowledge about energy.

Alongside the Pacific Gas and Electricity Company, the Southern California Gas Company, the San Diego Gas and Electricity Company, Safeway and Wells Fargo, the Veolia Foundation is specifically supporting the production of the videos for this program.