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Our Commitment to a Greener DukeEngage

Duke University is one of 680 colleges and universities to sign the Presidents’ Climate Commitment. By signing, the Duke community has pledged to take a leadership role in modeling ways to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and to provide knowledge and educate our students on how to achieve climate neutrality. DukeEngage is making its own commitment to these goals through major initiatives in environmental stewardship, including our innovative DukeEngage Offsets Program, which enables DukeEngage participants to go “carbon neutral” with their travel.

The DukeEngage Offsets Program

In the last year alone, DukeEngage participants and staff flew more than 4 million air miles to and from over two dozen countries. Our global reach calls upon us to minimize the impact of our travel on climate change. Thus, in collaboration with Sustainable Duke and the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative, we are offering the students, faculty and staff of DukeEngage the opportunity to go carbon neutral with their travel. The carbon offsets program provides an immediate and tangible means to minimize one’s carbon footprint through the purchase of a share of a North Carolina-based project for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Learn about the DukeEngage offsets project, determine your own carbon footprint based on the miles you will fly this summer, and make a voluntary contribution to a greener planet by purchasing offsets for all or part of your travel.

Portland Program contributes to a Greener DukeEngage

DukeEngage’s “Conservation and Urban Environmentalism” program in Portland, Oregon, systematically fosters a holistic marriage of service to the environment with a personal commitment to voluntary simplicity and sustainable living. Students assess their carbon footprint through a personal carbon calculator developed by a committee made up of a Fuqua graduate student, a Nicholas School graduate student, an undergraduate from the 2009 DukeEngage Portland program and Sustainable Duke staff. The calculator tracks participants’ behavior and monitors electricity usage, modes of transportation and dietary decisions. The Portland program educates students on ways to reduce their carbon footprint through the use of public transportation and maintaining a vegetarian, locally focused, organic diet, as well as environmentally focused lifestyle choices. The calculator is used to track these lifestyle changes and help students see how their behavior impacts the environment. The group participates in environmental projects in Portland on the weekends to collectively offset carbon that is not eliminated through behavioral changes. Projects may include beach clean ups, community gardens and tree planting.

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