Spearheading Sustainability in Travel - MEM Masters Project with Duke Alumni Travels


Spring 2019 - Spring 2020


Duke University is educating and empowering its Duke community to create a more sustainable future through environmental, economic, and social change on campus and beyond. Duke signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and set the goal to become climate and carbon neutral by 2024.  In line with Duke’s overarching sustainability goals, Duke Alumni Travels is joining this movement by engaging the travel industry to help develop approaches and metrics to monitor and improve environmental impact. 

Duke Alumni Travels has engaged a team of graduate students in Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment to collaborate with its tour operators to assess their practices and engage the travel industry around sustainability. The MEM team is benchmarking sustainability practices to highlight the current environmental, economic, and socio-cultural achievements for 4 of Duke Alumni Travels' tour operators. The Team will investigate key performance indicator, current assessments of sustainable travel practices, and publish the report for each of these operators on the Duke Alumni Travels website. This project aims to work with industry and planners to establish best sustainable travel practices and assessment.Students and Duke Alumni Travel are hosting a Sustainable Travel workshop at Duke in Fall 2019 and presenting results to the Educational travel Consortium annual national conference in February 2020 and lead the discussionaroun the future of sustainable travel. 

As this project develops, Duke Alumni Travels aims to leverage the best practices of its educational travel operators to help improve sustainability standards across the industry to benefit travelers and the world-wide destinations they explore.




Annabelle Mercer, Samantha Burch, Courtney McCorstin


Jesko von Windheim, Emily Klein, Beth Ray Schroeder


Duke Alumni Association, Nicholas School of the Environment

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Air Travel, Research, Sustainable Travel, Transportation, Work Culture