A culture of environmental sustainability

Porter-Gaud School commits to fostering a culture of environmental sustainability that shapes the school’s practices, curricula, and policies. Rooted in our Episcopal identity, we see it as our privilege to care for God’s creation, promote the sustainable use of resources, and reduce harmful impacts on the planet.


Caring For God’s Creation

At Porter-Gaud, we therefore recognize environmental sustainability as a core principle and seek to equip our students with a rich understanding of Earth’s beautiful complexity, along with the dedication to make a positive difference in its care.

We invite you to learn more about the campus sustainability efforts already underway by reviewing the examples below.


Education, Advocacy, and Awareness

Throughout our science curriculum in all divisions, we strive to help students gain an appreciation of natural systems, analyze how those systems operate, and how humans impact the natural balance. Specific opportunities in which students play an active role in solving environmental problems include:

  • Our fourth-grade multidisciplinary, project-based unit focused on flood mitigation in Charleston.
  • Our eighth-grade energy-efficient home project.
  • A new Upper School course, Environmental Science: Problems and Solutions where students conduct independent research.
  • Earth Week is officially recognized and celebrated from preK-12th grade through guest speakers, art competitions, special programming, and more.

Our service program supports several environmental causes on and off campus. Examples include litter pick-ups after school and participating in the International Coastal Cleanup each year.



  • All campus buildings utilize a web-based energy management system with temperature set points to lower energy usage when buildings are not occupied. In addition, most buildings have occupancy sensors and LED lighting in place, and we are in the process of installing LED lighting in all campus areas.
  • All exterior lighting utilizes dusk-to-dawn controllers to further reduce energy usage.
  • Washington Hall uses solar panels to heat water, and we have water bottle fillers installed around campus.
  • Our IT Department has installed programs to help manage printer and copier usage and lessen paper waste.


Recycling and Composting

  • Our Lower, Middle, and Upper School students divert waste from landfills by collecting and organizing paper, cardboard, plastics, cans, and other materials for recycling.
  • All campus printers use toner from recycled cartridges, and we partner with Upcycle to handle electronics waste.
  • Our food composting program in Washington Hall began in 2015. Last year alone, we diverted more than 21 tons of food waste from going to landfill.
  • Our Dining Hall has its Level 1 Green Certification through the Green Restaurant Association.