PAUSD's Sustainability Program is based on the tenants of the U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools Whole-School Sustainability Framework. The program is centered around three interdependent principles: organizational culture, physical place, and educational program. PAUSD's sustainability initiatives are informed by collaboration among District leadership, staff, students, parents, and the broader community. 

Energy Conservation

Energy Star Partner logo

Since 2011, PAUSD has run a robust energy conservation program. Through this program, the District has endeavored to reduce consumption of electricity, natural gas, and water. To date, PAUSD has achieved nearly 20% reduction across these utilities, which, over the entire program, has helped avoid over $3.8 million in utility spending. This program is based on behavior change; in other words, no direct capital investment has been necessary to achieve this level of energy conservation. The energy conservation commitment of PAUSD is backed in school board policy. Conserving energy is considered a responsibility of every member of our district's community.

Solar Energy

Bus Yard PV

PAUSD operates a five-site solar energy portfolio, including both ground mounted and rooftop arrays.  The sites currently generating solar energy are Palo Alto High School, Ellen Fletcher Middle School, J.L. Stanford Middle School, Nixon Elementary School, and Escondido Elementary School.  The total portfolio system size is 1.37 megawatts.

Administrative Regulations and Board Policies

Achievements & Awards

  • 12 individual school sites received Energy Star building certifications in 2012 and 16 sites received certification in 2015.
  • PAUSD received an Energy Star Leaders Top Performer recognition for having an entire portfolio of sites with a collective score above 75 (on a 100-point scale).
  • PAUSD received the City of Palo Alto Mayor's Green Business Award in 2012, 2013, and 2015.
  • PAUSD was honored with the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award in 2016.

Palo Alto Green Businesses


Please contact PAUSD Sustainability Program Manager, Rebecca Navarro or Green Team coordinator and PTAC Sustainability Liaison, Joslyn Leve with any questions, or to get involved in the sustainability program's initiatives.

Zero Waste PAUSD

Click here to visit PAUSD's Zero Waste page.

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