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PARTNER OFFICES

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Duke Office of Sustainability

 

Duke University seeks to attain and maintain a place of leadership in all that we do. This includes leadership in environmental stewardship and sustainability on our campus, in our medical institutions, and in the broader community.

In 2011, the Camus Sustainability Committee expanded on the goals sets in the Climate Action Plan by developing the Sustainability Strategic Plan (SSP). The SSP assesses the baseline and develops targets for other elements of campus sustainability such as water, waste and recycling, food, procurement, and natural resources. 

Goals

  • Emissions: Aggressively pursue carbon neutrality in 2024 and beyond through a combination of direct emission reduction strategies and carbon offsets.

  • Energy: Achieve a 20% reduction in energy use in buildings built prior to Duke's 2009 Climate Action Plan by 2030 while maximizing opportunities for building energy efficiency and low carbon construction of new buildings.

  • Buildings: Ensure all new construction and major renovations comply with Duke's High Performance Building Framework and meet campus goals for energy and water efficiency.

  • Water: Focus water-reduction strategies on the top 20 water-consuming buildings, which account for 70% of water use on campus.

  • Natural Resources: Ensure that buildings, landscapes, and natural areas are created and sustained to create a campus community that conserves natural resources, restores environmental quality, and protects biodiversity.

  • Food: Create a model food campus that is health-promoting, ecologically minded, resilient, diverse, fair, economically balanced, and transparent.

  • Transportation: Explore and implement opportunities to reduce barriers to alternative transportation modes and reduce the campus drive-alone rate.

  • Waste and Recycling: Create meaningful targets for waste diversion and reduce overall campus waste stream.

  • Procurement: Revise Duke's current environmentally preferable purchasing policy to make it more accessible and useful for campus purchasers while exploring opportunities to further green Duke's supply chain. 

  • Education: Incorporate sustainability into the depth and breadth of every student's experience by including core concepts of sustainability in every applicable field and research opportunity and by using the campus as a living laboratory.

  • Communication: Enhance understanding and foster changes in behavior among members of the Duke community that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Students can also contact Rebecca Hoeffler for more information: sustainability@duke.edu
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Trash and Recycling

Stewardship of the environment is an important part of what we do in Facilities Management. Through Duke Recycles, Duke diverts a variety of traditional recyclables, like magazines or aluminum, as well as many non-traditional recyclables, such as food compost, motor oil and tires from the Durham landfill every year. Duke Recycles functions as the information center for waste management and reduction initiatives and inquiries.

Services

  • Mini-Bin Program

Duke has introduced a desk-side/mini-bin program to divert more recyclables away from the landfill. In this system, the larger blue bin is for mixed recyclable material, and the smaller black attachment is for trash. Users are asked to empty their individual containers into a larger, centralized one as needed.

  • Move In

When students move into their dorms each fall, Duke Recycles collects vast quantities of cardboard boxes from across campus. Prior to students' arrival, Duke Recycles, sets up cardboard-collection areas outside each dorm. During the two-week period of student move-in, Duke Recycles services the corrals and recycles the cardboard.

  • Move-Out for Charity

Each spring, for the two-week period of move-out, Duke Recycles partners with TROSA and Goodwill to accept donations of clothes, shoes, furniture, appliances and many other vital resources. Items students contribute during this period are redistributed to the local community through the partner organizations.

  • K-Ville Campout

Duke Recycles provides recycling bins outside Cameron Indoor Stadium for die-hard fans living in tents to secure tickets for Duke home basketball games.

  • Special Events Recycling

Recycling and/or compost bins can be provided to accommodate any special event that may be taking place on campus.

  • Clean-Out Bins

High-volume recycling bins are available by request for clean-outs, faculty retirements and/or intra-campus moves.

Education and Outreach

  • Zero Waste Game Day

In 2014, Duke Athletics, in partnership with Duke Recycles and Sustainable Duke, launched the Zero Waste Game Day program to achieve 90% or greater diversion of all waste generated at each home football game. This goal is accomplished through widespread recycling, composting and waste reduction programs across all active areas on game day -- including the stadium concourse and bowl, Blue Devil Tower, tailgate lots and K-ville. Vendors inside the stadium have made substantial efforts to switch their packaging to recyclable and compostable alternatives. Successful awareness and education initiatives include Athletics account social media takeovers, volunteers distributing bag wraps through tailgating areas and educators posted at each waste station on the concourse to help fans sort their waste. In the 2015 season, Duke became the first school in the ACC to achieve zero waste on a game day with a 94% diversion during the University of Pittsburgh game. Zero Waste Game Day continues to improve each year, with the ultimate goal of consistently reaching 90% diversion.

  • Campus Sustainability Committee

The Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC), is a standing committee appointed by the university President. It is responsible for making recommendations to guide campus sustainability policies, championing Duke's sustainability initiatives and communicating them to each member's respective constituencies, in order to foster a more sustainable campus community. The committee is comprised of students, faculty and administration.

 
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Students can also contact Morgan Bachman for more information: morgan.bachman@duke.edu
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If you're interested in an Energy education in any capacity then check out the Energy Initiative. If you're looking for course options at the intersection of Energy and the Environment, opportunities to participate in and conduct research, extracurricular opportunities in Energy, and/or internships or career opportunities in the energy sector, check out their website or sign up for their newsletter.
Students can also contact Stacy Peterson for more information: stacy.peterson@duke.edu
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Duke Energy Initiative

Energy is essential to our quality of life and to human development globally. Yet, meeting energy needs reliably while improving environmental quality remains one of the greatest challenges for this century.
 
The Duke University Energy Initiative is a university-wide, interdisciplinary collaboration focused on advancing an accessible, affordable, reliable, and clean energy system. The Initiative reaches across business, engineering, environment, law, policy, and the arts and sciences to educate tomorrow’s energy innovators, develop new solutions through research, and improve energy decisions by engaging business and government leaders.
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Duke Campus Farm

The Duke Campus Farm is a one-acre, working farm that provides sustainably grown produce and food systems education for Duke and its surrounding communities.

 
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Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Duke Gardens is a botanic garden on Duke's campus, dedicated in 1939, that is free and open to the public. Our mission is to nurture an environment for learning, inspiration and enjoyment through excellence in horticulture and community engagement. We host over 600,000 visitors each year, and engage thousands of them through facilitated programming including horticultural classes, school field trips, academic collaborations, public festivals, exhibits, and more. 

 

We intersect with students in many ways. The Gardens is often used for studying, exercising, or relaxing. We also work with faculty and students to use the Gardens as a site for learning in classes and other academic pursuits. Some students volunteer with us in visitor services, education, and horticulture. We also offer work-study positions in horticulture, education, and occasionally other areas like development.

 

More information about possibilities for academic collaborations -- which includes specialized class tours or lectures, being a client for students in project-based classes, being a site for research, being an outdoor place to host classes on a nice day, and more -- is available here on our website. I'm the contact person for that, and I'm also happy to direct any questions from students to my colleagues if it's not something I coordinate.

 

More information about volunteering is available here on our website.

 
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Duke Forest