More than half of schools in England have achieved Eco School status, which covers themes including litter and waste, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has said.
Run by campaign group Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Eco School programme is an international award scheme that encourages children and teachers to make their school more environmentally-friendly and sustainable.
By following a seven step process covering themes ranging from litter and waste, to health-living and biodiversity, schools work towards gaining bronze, silver or the highest level green flag.
Benn said: Schools have an important part to play in helping young people to build a greener future for us all and its young people that will lead the way in creating a health environment for future generations.
Its a huge achievement that so many schools across England have achieved Eco School status and demonstrated their commitment to an environmentally future.
Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Phil Barton said: As the world becomes increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability, I believe that Eco Schools will play an even greater role in equipping the next generation to meet the challenges of the future.
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn