Spearheading Sustainability

Educational. Sustainable. Global.

Bleed Blue. Live Green. Duke University educates and empowers its Duke community to create a more sustainable future through environmental, economic, and social change on campus and beyond. In line with Duke’s overarching sustainability goals, Duke Travels has joined this movement by engaging the travel industry to help develop approaches and metrics to monitor and improve environmental impact and to journey sustainably.

All tour operators working with Duke Travels are expected to meet and exceed a standard for sustainable travel.



Duke Travels served as client for a student team in Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment for their Master’s Project (MP) toward their degree of Master’s in Environmental Management 2020. The MP Team assessed the Operators practices’ according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) definition of sustainable tourism: “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities. This definition was the basis of the MP Team’s assessment process described below.

Master’s Project: Read the report

NEW: Duke Travels is serving as client for a Spring 2021 class, “Sustainable Business Strategy” with the goal of developing a strategy to meet these programmatic goals. The course is with Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and led by Professor Deb Gallagher, Professor of the Practice of Resource and Environmental Policy, and Chair of the Business & Environment Program.


MP Project Partners:

Alumni Holidays International  |  Lindblad Expeditions  |  Odysseys Unlimited  |  Orbridge

We take pride in our operators and the exemplary work they are doing environmentally, economically, and socio-culturally. Below, these three pillars are detailed by focus areas. Learn what each operator is doing in these three pillars.

Environmental Sustainability

  • Biodiversity, Wildlife, & Natural Areas
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction
  • Energy
  • Food
  • Overcrowding
  • Waste
  • Water

Socio-Cultural Sustainability

  • Cultural Heritage
  • Frameworks
  • Local Relationship Management

Economic Sustainability

  • Community Development
  • Local Employment
  • Support of Local Business

Tourism at its best is a force for good - let's make best the new normal."
Sven Lindblad, CEO, Lindblad Expeditions


For more information on Duke Alumni Travels’ sustainability journey, please contact us at sustainabletravel@duke.edu