photo for Climate Commitment saying "In it for Life"

This past year marked the launch of Duke University’s 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. Over the past year, Duke leadership has developed a set of goals for each aspect of the commitment.



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.