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Santa Monica-Malibu School District Adopts Sustainability Plan

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

April 1, 2019 -- From serving locally grown foods to teaching students green practices, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will begin implementing a Sustainability Plan that has been more than a year in the making.

Approved by the School Board on March 21, the plan provides a "strategic roadmap" for unifying the existing "sustainability initiatives" that have been implemented over the past decade, District officials said.

The plan also integrates the concept of sustainability into the curriculum and "organizational culture," officials said.

This "will not only reduce the District's environmental footprint but it will also generate cost savings, support student achievement, and develop the next generation of environmental stewards," the plan said.

"This is (a) tremendous opportunity for the District to adapt curriculum offerings to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century and promote innovative career pathways that meet the demands of the green economy."

Tha plan tackles eight focus areas -- climate, education and engagement, energy efficiency and renewables, water, solid waste, transportation, nutrition and green buildings and operations.

The plan establishes a framework for assessment by "documenting baseline conditions" and "establishing key goals and performance indicators," officials said.

The District is working with fiscal staff to "come up with specific budgets for the major programs that require funding," they said.

"Most of the projects outlined are cost neutral, including those that are paid for with grants, cost savings, or involve staff time."

The Sustainability Plan was formulated with input from students, faculty, staff, parents and "the larger Santa Monica and Malibu communities," which are undertaking similar efforts, officials said.

“This plan is the right thing to do for our communities locally and the environment globally," said School Board President Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein.

"It’s a plan so thorough," he said, "districts will use it as a benchmark.”

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