photo for Climate Commitment saying "In it for Life"

On September 29, 2022, Duke University launched its Climate Commitment, which is a university-wide, impact-oriented initiative to address the climate crisis by creating sustainable and equitable solutions that place society on the path towards a resilient, flourishing, carbon-neutral world. The Climate Commitment builds upon the strong foundations of climate and sustainability efforts that have been infused throughout campus operations, academics, research, and engagement with the local community and other external entities.

To learn more about the efforts being done across campus in support of the Climate Commitment, please view the 2023 Annual Report

Climate Commitment Advisory Council

The Climate Commitment Advisory Council (CCAC) was created in spring 2024 and is charged with providing diverse campus and community members' voices opportunities to develop goals and strategies for each aspect of the Climate Commitment. The CCAC meets regularly to provide guidance, develop recommendations, and formulate implementation steps and accountability measures. The CCAC is led by Dr. Toddi Steelman, the vice president and vice provost of climate and sustainability and is comprised of nearly 100 representatives from Duke University including students, staff, and faculty. 

Climate Commitment Pillars

image that shows all five pillars of Duke's Climate Commitment, which are climate education, sustainable operations, innovative research, community partnerships, and external engagement.


Duke will educate and empower a climate- and sustainability-fluent student body that understands anthropogenic climate change and its origins and is well-equipped to address it by innovating and implementing creative, scientifically-informed, just, and responsible solutions.


Duke will prioritize investments in climate research areas in which the university already has strength: transforming energy, fostering climate-resilient communities and ecosystems, elevating environmental and climate justice, and developing data-driven climate solutions.


Duke released its first Climate Action Plan in 2009, and will build on existing sustainable operations and facilities efforts to demonstrate how a complex institution can proactively affect the climate crisis. The university will look to develop next-level sustainable operations that focus on campus energy use, transportation, waste management, food sourcing, and procurement.

Community Partnerships

Beyond campus, Duke will connect authentically in its local and global partner communities, so that collective insights and wisdom may inform and create more durable solutions that recognize mutual interdependencies.

External Engagement

To amplify its goal of comprehensive societal impact, Duke will foster and empower partnerships with public and private sectors as well as civil society to pursue impactful opportunities where Duke can contribute to building a just and sustainable future.


With all of these ambitious goals in mind, the entire Duke community is integral to Duke’s success. We call upon each and every student, staff, and faculty, regardless of area of study or profession, to step up and recognize the role they can play in developing sustainable solutions to climate change. If you are ready to step up, please learn more about the wide-ranging efforts on the Climate Commitment website.