USGBC - US Green Building Council

06/13/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/13/2024 07:55

The 2024 Green Schools Conference by the numbers

Photo credit: Daniel Quat Photography.
JacquelineMaleyJun 13, 2024
2 minute read
A look back at a strong conference for healthy and efficient schools.

The Green Schools Conference (GSC) brings together everyone involved in creating and advocating for green schools, with a focus on those leading schools and school systems toward whole-school sustainability.

The 2024 conference was held March 5-7 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and offered a program designed to inspire and facilitate progress in the green schools movement. Attendees were given the opportunity to explore interdisciplinary content in the general sessions and collaborate with peers to address specific challenges, exchange best practices and enhance green school initiatives nationwide. The numbers indicate that GSC 2024 was the most successful conference to date!

A successful conference

Let's take a look at the numbers for GSC 2024:

  • There were 530 unique registrants.
  • Seven (7) countries were represented-an increase of 20% from 2023.
  • Ninety-seven percent (97%) of attendees expressed satisfaction with this year's conference.
  • Thirty (30) education sessions were held at the conference. In addition to providing attendees access to these 60-minute education sessions, the conference also included four workshops, four summits and three off-site tours for more in-depth learning.
  • Eight hundred (800) pounds of waste were diverted during one day of the conference.
  • There were 11 new offerings at the 2024 conference, including vegetarian meals, morning wellness activities such as yoga and the GSC run club, speed greening, opening circles, a local resident pass, and more!

During the new speed greening event, a local organization in Santa Fe, we.grow.eco, showcased paper made from recycled materials used in a recent watershed ecology lesson with United World College-USA and offered attendees the chance to create bookmarks from recycled materials. Photo courtesy of Daniel Quat Photography.

Attendee breakdown

The 2024 conference saw attendees from across 42 U.S. states, with the highest level of representation from California and New Mexico.

Santa Fe proved to be a great place for the conference, with the location allowing us to engage residents of states within the USGBC Mountain Region (purple states in the graphic below) and USGBC Pacific Region (green states in the graphic below). We saw a 285% increase in participation from these regions.

Professionals in the education sector, including school district staff, school administrators and educators, made up 55% of the 2024 GSC audience. Individuals in green building design, technology and product, as well as service providers, represented the second largest industry sector at 22%.

A breakdown of 2024 GSC attendees according to industry and function at the conference.

Attendee feedback

Attendees offered feedback on the conference:

  • "One of the absolute best keynotes. I appreciate [when] the keynotes [are] authentic and say the brave things that need to be said. [Matika Wilbur] was exactly that." -Anonymous conference attendee
  • "Really inspiring to see a superintendent [from Santa Fe Public Schools] with such passion and dedication to sustainability." -Anonymous conference attendee
  • "I enjoyed the sessions and ideas that came from them. I also enjoyed brainstorming with my district team. The mobile app was helpful and the food was delicious. And, of course, the sustainability was important. I really appreciate the efforts there, especially the vegetarian options, the purposeful choice of venues and other small details" -Teacher from Boise School District
  • "It was my first time attending and I LOVED it. It was one of the best conferences I have been to. I appreciated the size of the conference, [as] it allowed me to really connect with people. I also enjoyed the food, social events, AMAZING keynote, dance troupe and the [University of New Mexico] professor deepening the connection to place" -Training specialist at Sacramento City Unified School District

Conference attendees gave positive feedback on the 2024 conference. Photo courtesy of Daniel Quat Photography.

Get involved with the 2025 GSC:

  • Apply to be a program reviewer by June 18.
  • Submit a proposal to present at the conference by June 24.
  • Sign up for emails to stay up to date with the latest GSC news.

Learn more about GSC

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