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    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.

    Winter Break Shutdown List

    Last winter break energy use went up over 30%. To avoid this huge cost increase and to be good environmental stewards, please follow the shutdown checklist below before leaving for break.

    • Turn off all lights in your area, including display and task lighting.

    Appliances & Equipment   

    Take home personal appliances in accordance with SP 68Removal Sticker10. Removal stickers will be posted on unapproved appliances.     

    Unplug all heaters, speakers, personal printers/copiers/scanners, and other electronic devices.

    Do not unplug networked printers/copiers/scanners computers and “log off”. Turn off computer monitors only.


    Turn off classroom projectors by pressing the power off button twice on the remote control.
    Leave computers and network cables plugged in. Close all programs running on computers and log out when you leave


    Heating & Cooling

    • Heating, ventilation, and cooling is limited during breaks so take home food and plants and pets.

    • Shut all windows and doors, blinds and drapes to keep building temperature regulated.

    Garbage & Recycling

    • Remember to put recyclable and compostable materials into the correct containers as you shut down rooms. Compost containers must be emptied into shared spaces such as large break rooms or cafeterias as custodians do not take compost from individual rooms.

    Natural Resources Conservation Procedures


    Our work builds on the District's Natural Resources Conservation Policy 6810 Natural Resources Conservation Procedures SP6810  Resolution 2006/2007-18 (Climate Change), and Resolution 2012/13-12 (Green Resolution). 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 2015-16 Conservation Results:

    - Reduced energy use by 15%
    - Reduced water use by 8%
    - Increased recycling by 20%

    In 2015/16 we reduced annual District-wide energy and water use and increased recycling for the fifth consecutive year. The District realized in excess of approximately $1.44 million in avoided costs due to utility conservation efforts.

    Reducing utility use has resulted in savings that enable a greater investment in our core mission of excellence in education.

    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 benchmarking utility use with the District's Energy and Utility Manager database, and with U.S. EPA's Energy Star Portfolio Manager.

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