International House is protecting our planet

We are ambitious that all IH schools will take positive actions to safeguard our planet, and minimise the negative impacts we have on our environment. In February 2020 International House World Organisation (IHWO) added environmental sustainability to its corporate strategy map: "Promote sustainability with best practice, resources & awareness raising". In March 2021 we committed to an Environmental Policy.

It’s time for the whole IH network to lead the way and making a real difference for the future - think what we can achieve!

We may each only take small steps at first, but combined together this can have a big impact. If together 5000 members of staff and 200,000 students change just one thing, that is a huge impact. 

There are a number of strands to our approach, described below. 

We are delighted to have been highly commended in The PIEoneer Awards 2021, in the Sustainability International Impact Award category

Environmental Sustainability Review (for individual schools to complete)

Research shows that although saving our planet may seem an impossibly large task, even small steps toward making sustainable behaviour the default will have positive benefits. 

We encourage all IH schools to complete the IH Environmental Sustainability Review, and make a commitment to protecting our planet!


The review is based on the 12 criteria below. If schools demonstrate positive actions in at least eight criteria - they'll be awarded this badge which can be used on all the schools' communications.

Positive contributions to promote environmental sustainability.

Minimising the negative impact we have on the environment.

  1. Educating students about environmental sustainability
  2. Encouraging sustainable behaviour
  3. Increasing community involvement 
  4. Setting a sustainable food supply policy
  5. Setting sustainability requirements for suppliers
  6. Managing a sustainability strategy
  1. Reduce travel and offset its negative impacts
  2. Reduce energy consumption
  3. Reduce use of consumables 
  4. Re-use & Recycle where possible
  5. Reduce water consumption
  6. Reduce the environmental footprint of new school buildings and facilities

Simply put, do more of the positive and do less of the negative. 

(Click on each of the links above for a description and tips into how to achieve these actions.)

Complete Your Review Now!! <<link to members area>>


Young Environmentalists Project

The IH Young Environmentalists Project is an international project where students create resources for IH Teachers to use on environmental topics.

We believe that young people are critically aware of the pressures on our planet’s environment and the potential effects on their lives in the years to come. They are best placed to create messages and resources that will resonate with their peers.

In Round 1 (Nov 2020 to January 2021) thirty teens from  IH schools in Kazakhstan, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Russia, and Spain. created resources for teachers to use in ELT classes with likeminded students around the world.

These resources are freely downloadable on the << teachers resource library>>

As well as creating valuable project resources, students language skills improved! This is what Pietro from Milan had to say: 

"Don’t even get me started on how much did my English conversation skills improved during the 2 months of the activity, because Yes, even as an almost 18 year old, even as an IH student that is going to do the FIRST CERTIFICATE exam in the span of a year by now and even as an high schooler I actually felt my speaking abilities improving exponentially."

Read the rest of how he felt about the project here

IH 7 Week Environmental Challenge

The students, staff and communities of all International House schools can make a difference. Together we are stronger, together we can protect our planet!

Inspired by the IH Young Environmentalists Project, starting in April 2021 we are inviting schools to join the IH 7 Week Environmental Sustainability Challenge. .

See more details on the <<event page>>

IHWO Environmental Sustainability Policy 

At IHWO we are ambitious in our contributions to the safeguarding of our planet and in minimising the negative impacts we have on the environment. For this reason, in February 2020, IHWO added environmental sustainability to its corporate strategy map: "Promote sustainability with best practice, resources & awareness raising".

We have made seven commitments. Read our policy <<here>>