Seattle Public Schools


Resource Conservation

Resource Conservation at SPS

At Seattle Public Schools there are three Resource Conservation Specialists in the Facilities Operations Department. Their focus is to manage current utility expenses (electricity, natural gas, water/sewer, and solid waste) through low-cost/no-cost operating strategies. Seattle Public Schools includes over 9 million square feet of buildings, spends over $8,000,000 every year on utility bills, and uses enough electricity to power about 4,600 residential homes.

Resource Conservation Awards

Shared Savings Resource Conservation Awards 2018 – Schools will be awarded funding in November 2018 for achievements in the previous school year.

Current Initiatives

Resource Conservation Specialists work closely with schools, community partners, and other departments to promote a wide range of work.

Composting and Recycling We include mandatory food waste composting recycling programs at all schools. In Seattle food waste and recyclable materials are not allowed in the garbage.


We benchmark utility use with the District’s Energy and utility manager database, and with U.S. EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager.


We support Facility Operations and Capital Planning work to retrocommission our schools in accordance with City of Seattle Regulations. This means that our schools are checked and tuned-up to increase efficiency and comfort and decrease resource use and maintenance costs.

New School Year Classroom Set-Up Guide (print version)

Five ways to make your school year more comfortable, efficient and safe. Our move-in “Preparing for the New School Year” check-list calls attention to a few meaningful Seattle Public Schools resource conservation items. Please review to refresh your knowledge about the Superintendent’s Conservation Procedures. Together we can avoid wasting resources and create the best possible teaching and learning environment.

Guide for preparing for the New School Year 


Our work builds on SPS policies and procedures:

In addition, we report annual energy use to the City of Seattle using Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager and follow the Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol for new buildings.

SPS District-wide 2016-17 Key Performance Indicators Results:

  • Reduced energy use by 17.5%
  • Reduced water use by 7.5%
  • Increased recycling by 19.6%

In 2016/17 we reduced annual District-wide energy and water use and increased recycling for the sixth consecutive year. The District realized in excess of approximately $1.44 million in avoided costs due to utility conservation efforts.

By reducing utility use we have avoiding paying about $1.4 million in utility bills, which allows the District to make a greater investment in our core mission of excellence in education.


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