Green Flag award criteria

Pupils holding Green Flag

Unlike the Bronze and Silver awards, the Green Flag is not self-assessed. Following completion of a Green Flag award application form (completed and submitted through our website), your application is desk-assessed by the Eco-Schools team and then one of our trained volunteer assessors will visit your school to check whether you’ve met the criteria.

If you are not sure your school meets all of the award criteria why not have a go at our new Green Flag Checklist.

To apply for the Green Flag Award you must first log in to the site with your email address and password, you can do that at the top right hand side of this page.

If you don't have your password please use the forgotten password link above. Once you have logged in you will be able to begin completing your Green Flag application form.

For a comprehensive guide to using our online application system, download the
Eco-Coordinator's User Guide from our Programmes Materials page.

Click here for guidance on applying for your first Eco-Schools Green Flag award

Click here for guidance on renewing your Eco-Schools Green Flag award

Green Flag award criteria


  • The school has an Eco-Committee that meets at least once every half term
  • Pupils take significant responsibility for running the committee (the level of responsibility expected depends on the age and ability of the pupils involved)
  • The Eco-Committee includes a parent and/or governor representative

Environmental Review

  • The Eco-Committee has completed an Environmental Review covering the Eco-Schools nine topics and green procurement policy topics
  • The results have been recorded
  • Pupils were involved in carrying out the review
  • Results of the review have been discussed by the Eco-Committee and communicated with the whole school
  • The review must be completed at least once every two years, but ideally should be completed every school year, to enable the Eco-Committee to do follow-up reviews to see the progress your school has made.

Action Plan

  • The Eco-Committee has produced a detailed Action Plan
  • The plan contains timescales, who is responsible and how eco work will be monitored and evaluated
  • The plan should contain development of any policies made that cover the nine topics, this should include a Green Procurement policy (A green procurement policy has been a requirement from January 2013)
  • The Eco-Committee has shared the Action Plan with the rest of the school

Linking to the curriculum

  • Sustainability has been covered in at least three curriculum areas by most year groups

Involving the whole school and wider community

  • The school has a prominent, designated notice board, detailing Eco-Schools activities
  • The Eco-Committee regularly communicates Eco-Schools activities to the whole school and wider community (eg. via assemblies and newsletters)
  • The school has shared good practice with other schools who wish to join the Eco-Schools programme or who are already engaged in the programme
  • The school shares good practice and supports others within their Eco-Community (eg. local Eco-Centres and homes)

Monitoring and evaluation


  • The school has an agreed, adopted and displayed Eco-Code
  • The Eco-Code is displayed on the Eco-Schools notice board and in all classrooms
  • The Eco-Code is known and understood by the majority of pupils and staff

Project work

  • The school for the first application has completed in-depth work on at least three of the Eco-Schools nine topics, one of which must be energy
  • If you are renewing your Green Flag, you also must work on a further two Eco-Schools topics in-depth since you gained your last award. You should maintain and review (and develop as you see fit) your previous topics and record these in the action plan and on the application form.

    Note: This will result in five topics being looked for a initial renewal. For subsequent renewals you must maintain five topic although these can change. Please see the comprehensive Green Flag renewal guidance.

    If you feel you’ve met the criteria, register with Eco-Schools or log-in using the box at the top-right hand corner of the screen. You will then be able to access and complete the Green Flag application form and apply for the Green Flag award. 

More about the assessment process can be found in the Green Flag assessment section