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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the Center for Green Schools Commit to Providing More Than 2 Million Children with Access to Safer, Healthier Learning Environments

BOSTON -- Today at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York, global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced a national Commitment to Action to provide more than 2 million children with access to safer, healthier learning environments.  Known as Green Apple, this initiative is designed to empower schools in the United States and beyond to become more effective places to learn.

The Green Apple initiative will raise public awareness around the importance of educating our students in healthy, safe and efficient places that enhance learning.  Schools today are often burdened with budget cuts, unsafe toxins, outdated resources, and buildings in need of repair, and these sub-par learning environments can have a measurable impact on student health.  For instance, US students miss more than 10 million school days because of asthma symptoms worsened by poor indoor air quality, according to the American Lung Association. 
“At HMH, we believe that where you learn is just as important as what and how you learn in delivering a quality education, and ultimately positive outcomes for students,” said Linda K. Zecher, President and CEO, HMH. “Through Green Apple, our aim is to help implement tangible, positive change in US classrooms and beyond, by providing schools and teachers with the knowledge and tools to create safer, healthier places to learn, enabling students to focus on developing the skills they need for a successful future.”

Green Apple will provide schools with the tools to create and maintain clean, safe and sustainably designed learning environments, resulting in a significant impact on student and teacher health, school operational costs, the environment, and educational outcomes.

Together, HMH and the Center for Green Schools will:

  • Leverage HMH’s nationwide sales force to provide tools and resources that enable schools to become better learning environments, including a benchmarking and needs assessment tool, teacher training and certification resources and a one year free membership to the USGBC.
  • Convene a group of key players to develop an agenda for integrating sustainability education across the core curriculum and ensuring that teachers are prepared to deliver this content.
  • HMH will also commit to reduce paper use through a virtual textbook sampling campaign. For every US school that opts in to virtual textbook samples rather than printed versions, HMH will make a donation to Green Apple.

“We’re excited to partner with HMH to launch the Green Apple initiative and to make this commitment before the Clinton Global Initiative community,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “In addition to providing resources and content, HMH brings to this partnership the ability to rapidly and effectively achieve scale through its existing relationships with school districts across the country."

As a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and a sponsor of the 2012 Annual Meeting, HMH is one of a number of leading companies, foundations, and NGOs to make a measurable Commitment to Action designed to address a major global challenge. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries.

View the press release from the Center for Green Schools

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global learning company committed to changing lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. Among the world’s largest providers of pre-K–12 education solutions and one of its longest-established publishing houses, HMH combines cutting-edge research, editorial excellence and technological innovation to improve teaching and learning environments and solve complex literacy and education challenges. HMH’s interactive, results-driven education solutions are utilized by 60 million students in 120 countries, and its renowned and awarded novels, non-fiction, children's books and reference works are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit

About the Center for Green Schools at USGBC
The Center for Green Schools at USGBC is making sure every student has the opportunity to attend a green school within this generation. From kindergarten to college and beyond, the Center works directly with staff, teachers, faculty, students, administrators, elected officials and communities to drive the transformation of all schools into sustainable places to live and learn, work and play. For more information, visit or find us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Green Apple
Green Apple is a cause-marketing initiative of the Center for Green schools at USGBC to put all children in schools where they have clean and healthy air to breath, where energy and resources are conserved, and where they can be inspired to dream of a brighter future. Green Apple enables individuals, companies and organizations the opportunity to transform all our schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient and productive learning places, and is powered by volunteers who participate in community-based efforts; promoted by media partners, like-minded NGOs and high-profile ambassadors; and funded by corporate partners. For more information, visit

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at