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NGA's Greener Governance campaign aims to ensure all schools and trusts have a strategy for their contribution to environmental sustainability and to equip governing boards to play their role in overseeing this work.

For the academic year 2021/22 we are asking every governing board to make the Greener Governance pledge to:

  • reduce carbon at your school or trust;
  • put your school’s or trust's contribution to environmental sustainability on the agenda; and
  • ensure a plan is developed to make this happen in 2022.

Get started with our guide on developing a whole school approach to sustainability.

About the Greener Governance campaign

As local leaders making decisions, governors and trustees can make a difference. It falls to governors and trustees to listen to stakeholders, influence positive change and set the conditions to help young people understand the world and develop the skills and attitudes to live fulfilled lives as responsible citizens. The annual governance survey 2020 asked if boards had acted on climate change or environmental sustainability, revealing: 

  • 44% had acted
  • 31% had not
  • 25% were unsure

Through the Greener Governance campaign NGA hope to see a rise in those who have acted in the 2022 survey demonstrating boards’ positive action towards environmental sustainability.   


Find out more in our latest Governing Matters article ‘Engaging with environmental emergency




Throughout the campaign NGA will:

  • Showcase the importance of including the environment and sustainability in school and trust strategies and decision making
  • Provide guidance and signpost to relevant resources available for governors and trustees on environmental sustainability
  • Share best practice and examples of board led action
  • Work with partners across the education sector and encourage the Department for Education to include the role of governance in their work on environmental sustainability.
  • Encourage boards to ask and listen to stakeholders about change they want to see in this area
  • Address environmental sustainability within NGA’s own practices.

What impact could the education sector have?

  • Schools and universities represent 39% of UK public sector building emissions, education sector buildings account for 1% of all UK energy consumption: tackling this can make a significant contribution to reach net zero. 
  • Over 24,000 schools in England provide the opportunity to enhance biodiversity, help nature recover, as well as the greater opportunity to engage children and young people in the natural environment.
  • 1 in 70 car miles are associated with the school commute: there’s the potential to change behaviours to create significant long-term impact.
  • Over 10 million pupils in schools in the UK means a climate aware education can prepare children and young people for a changing world, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and attitude to create a sustainable future.

Resources to support governing boards

NGA resources

Further resources:

We will continue to update this page with resources and guidance in addition to insights and announcements from COP26.

What next?

  • Get in touch and let us know if your school or trust is making the Greener Governance pledge by emailing
  • We are updating our guidance for Spring 2022 and would love to include examples from schools and trusts on their journey to better environmental sustainability. We want to hear from boards at all stages of their journey so please do get in touch and email
  • Join Emma Knights, NGA’s Chief Executive for her webinar on the board’s role in environmental sustainability where she will be discussing our updated guidance on the four Cs of sustainability, and the DfE’s draft sustainability and climate change strategy.
  • Partake in the upcoming Governance Leadership forums in the new year where we will be building on the November guidance with accounts from schools and trusts who are already engaged with the work on environmental sustainability.
Connect With Us
  • NGA, 36 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JY
  • Phone: 0121 237 3780 | Contact Us
  • Charity Number: 1070331 | Company Number 3549029

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