With more policymakers showing concern for the growing effects of climate change, institutions ought to be ready to adapt to changes. One of the institutions that are going to be significantly affected is schools. Julia DePinto Perez has been a financial administrator for 20 years. She believes academic leaders need to pay attention to these trends that are likely to take place in these institutions.
Policy makers looking into how green technology will impact schools have shown that indoor air quality affects the health and learning ability of students. The EPA says that the school environment should foster focus, attendance, and performance. The environmental organization also states that unhealthy school environments lead to “expensive, time consuming clean up and remediation services”.
According to Julia DePinto Perez, focus on the school environment will mean schools have to adopt better financial management policies. This will probably be dictated by the scope of the expected changes. New regulations may require schools to not only ensure that classrooms have fresh clean air, but also have natural sunlight, be energy efficient, and use sustainable materials.
There are already schools that are taking the initiative to adopt sustainable technology. Even though these changes incur expenditures, Ms. DePinto Perez says there are also financial benefits to be gained. One school taking advantage of green technology is Lake Mills Elementary in Wisconsin.
The school was one of the first in the United States to adopt green technology solutions for heating and cooling. The school has registered improvements in class performance and health, especially respiratory diseases. In terms of expenditure, the school now saves $85,000 a year in energy costs.
School Buses and Credits
Another area to watch out for according to Julia DePinto Perez is the change in school buses and credits gained from making these changes. School buses have also raised concerns on the level of air quality that students are exposed to when commuting to and from school.
Purchasing new vehicles may prove to be a significant burden for many institutions. One way that schools can adopt is to make adjustments to their vehicles and equipment. This includes changing to greener fuels.
Even before any regulations for the adoption of new technology are put in place, there are already credits that institutions can earn for their efforts. Green solutions such as using alternative fuels for school buses, low heat emitting materials, rooms lit by natural daylight, are some ways schools can earn credits. Approaching these solutions with sound financial management principles should yield good results.
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