Step 3 Action Plan

A plan for environmental actions in your school

Please use our FREE Action Plan Template (below) as you will need to submit this document when applying for or renewing your Eco-Schools Green Flag.

Your school should not pay for additional support from third parties in order to carry out Step 3, let your Eco-Committee decide and take ownership of their own projects.

View the full Green Flag criteria, resources and examples below

Action Plan Criteria

In order to achieve the international Green flag award a school must meet the following criteria.

  • Your Eco-Committee produces an Action Plan influenced by their Eco-Schools Environmental Review.
  • Pupils on the Eco-Committee take responsibility for leading their chosen topic actions: three topics for your first Green Flag and five topics for all Green Flag renewals (changing two of the five topics with every subsequent renewal application).
  • Your Action Plan contains timescales, who is responsible for the actions and how your topic actions will be monitored and evaluated.
  • Your Eco-Committee shares the Action Plan with the whole of the school.
  • A copy of your Action Plan must be displayed on your Eco-Board.

Action Plan Resources

Please use our FREE Action Plan Template as you will need to submit this document when applying for or renewing your Eco-Schools Green Flag.

Here is a selection of our Action Plan resources, please log on to your Eco-Schools account to find more.

1st Green Flag Action Plan

Renewal Green Flag Action Plan

Eco-Schools Team Tips

When beginning your Eco-Schools journey, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, doing ‘little’ things well can be as impressive, effective and fun as completing much bigger eco-projects.

Action Plan FAQs

Remember once you have completed Step 3 Action Plan you are ready to complete your self assessed online Bronze Award.

How many topics do I need to develop an action(s) for?

1st Green Flag 3 topics. If you are renewing your Green Flag 5 topics, changing two with each subsequent renewal.

Do we have to choose actions for the topics that we performed badly on in our Environmental Review?

We recommend you use the findings of your Environmental review to choose the topics to focus on, but it is not mandatory and is entirely up to the Eco-Committee to decide. If they have brilliant ideas for a topic your school has already performed well on; they are free to choose that topic.

Does our Action Plan have to use suggestions from the Environmental Review?

No, the Environmental Review was designed to provide children with ideas and get their own creativity flowing, none of our suggestions are mandatory.

How big do our Actions need to be?

Your actions can be as big or small as you choose, for example we don’t expect all our Eco-Schools to immediately invest in solar panels and a wind turbine – an action for 1st Green Flag could be as simple as appointing light monitors and displaying posters by light switches to remind people to turn the light off when not in use.

How many actions are required for each topic?

That is entirely up to your Eco-Committee a topic might have only one action or it might have numerous ones but please aim to be realistic with the number of actions you can carry out.

How long should our Actions take?

This is entirely up to your Eco-Committee; we only ask that on the Action Plan you try to be specific with how long you decide an action will take. If you miss the deadline you have set yourselves then you can change it at a later date, the Action Plan is designed to be a working document.

One of our actions has failed; can we still use this as evidence towards our Green Flag award?

Yes, as long as you are trying to make a difference and can provide evidence that you have implemented the action then the action counts towards your Green Flag. At Eco-Schools we view failure as a fundamental part of learning.

One of our actions takes a long time to complete; do we have to wait till it is complete to apply for our Green Flag award?

No, as long as you can provide evidence that you have begun to implement the action then this can be used as evidence towards your Green Flag award. In fact, one of the things our assessors look for on your assessment visit is that actions are ongoing.

We have completed our Action Plan, what next?

You need to inform your whole school about your planned actions. You also need to display your Action Plan on your Eco-Board and retain a copy as evidence towards your Green Flag award.


School Examples

Claremont School, East Sussex

The Eco-Committee at Claremont School decided to create an inspirational video to share with their school community, celebrate their journey to Green Flag and demonstrate their determination to care for our planet and all life that exists within it. The Eco-Schools team have decided to place their video as an example for Step 3: Action Plan, to demonstrate how environmental actions evolve and help inspire other Eco-Committee's Action Plans!
Originally, Claremont had just planned to increase recycling in their school, but this soon expanded to regular beach cleans with the Marine Conservation Society and plastic pledges to to drive single-use plastics from their school. This culminated in the Claremont Eco-Store which year 7 & 8 pupils were responsible for. Parents would bring in refill bottles for everyday consumables such as: body wash, shampoo and washing up liquid and eventually the store even stocked bamboo toothbrushes and toilet paper!
Students then used their profits to work with One Tree Planted to plant trees in areas of the world most in need - profits led to 225 trees being planted in Kenya and Australia, following bushfires.

School Website

Dubai British School

We loved this example from Eco-Schools United Arab Emirates so much that we decided to share their action on our website (especially as the photo features turtles similar to our new Marine topic).

The children were really concerned about reducing plastic pollution, especially as they had recently learnt about the devastating effects plastic is having on marine environments (Marine topic). They decided that reducing single-use plastic in their school was something they wanted to work on as one of their three topics in their Action Plan.

They did an Environmental Review (Step 2) of their school and identified plastic bags as the biggest source of single-use plastics, so they began thinking about ways to stop using so many. They decided that each child should write a letter to supermarkets (Curriculum Links in English) asking them to reduce their use of plastic bags (currently in United Arab Emirates there is no plastic bag charge). They also wanted to provide an alternative to plastic bags, so they decided to fund raise in order to buy every child their own bag-for-life that they could then design themselves (Curriculum Links in art). They decided a realistic time to complete their action was a term - as every child was involved in writing letters and fundraising it meant the whole school were engaged in their Eco-Schools work (Step 5: Informing and Involving).

At the end of their action, they reviewed they counted how many plastic bags were present in their school (Step 6: Monitoring and Evaluation) and noticed a vast reduction - great stuff!

School Website

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