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Social & Environmental Sustainability

EarthCheck

We’ve always considered ourselves to be an environmentally and socially conscientious organization, so earning an official eco-certification badge in 2010 was a natural next step. In 2016, we updated our eco-certification with EarthCheck, a benchmarking group that measures the economic, social, and environmental impact of travel and tourism providers. Our EarthCheck Evaluate Program score? Five earths! The highest rating they offer. But we’re not resting on our laurels. We still regularly track our energy use, and set long-term goals for reduction.

Eco-Friendly Practices

Reduce

Conservation is always on our mind. Our application and pre-departure materials are virtually paperless. And staff around the world use public transportation whenever they can (and encourage students to do the same).

Reuse

Around the world, we reuse office and kitchen supplies—from chopsticks to napkins—whenever possible. Most of our sites provide students access to potable water taps, too. Goodbye one-use plastic bottles!

Recycle

Recycling isn’t available everywhere, but we still try to do our part. Wherever possible, we not only recycle, we purchase recycled and eco-friendly products. At our headquarters in DC, we use 100% recycled paper.

Respect

The more of the world you see, the more responsibility for the world you share. We impart to students ways to be not only green minded, but locally minded—conscious of regional conservation challenges and respectful of host society heritage and practices.

Giving Back

When we set up a program overseas, we become a part of that local community. And as a community member, it is our responsibility to contribute to local initiatives in meaningful ways. This is a list of just some of the local philanthropic organizations that help us fulfill this responsibility—they host our students and we support their missions.