Overall Rating Reporter - expired
Overall Score
Liaison Tavey Capps
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Duke University
EN-9: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Tavey Capps
Environmental Sustainability Director
Office of the Executive Vice President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “supportive”?:

A brief description of the institution’s supportive sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

There are several ongoing student-run initiatives promoting sustainability and environmental education in the community surrounding Duke. For instance, Wilderness Outdoor Opportunities for Durham Students (WOODS) is a program that is run by Duke students promoting nature and environmental experiential education in the Durham area. The goal of WOODS is not only to educate the children they work with, but to help them gain a sense of self-worth and build their self-esteem. Aspects of ecology, the environment, and basic natural principles are taught through team building exercises, games, and spending time outdoors.

In a partnership between Duke University (in particular the grounds team within Facilities Management), Durham's city government and Keep Durham Beautiful, Duke has assisted the "Trees Across Durham" campaign. The Duke Campus Farm provided a space for 63 young willow oaks to grow from local acorns for two years, and provided volunteers to help transplant these trees as they are moved to parks and schools around Durham.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “collaborative”?:

A brief description of the institution's collaborative sustainability partnership(s):

The Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative is conducting research and implementing a pilot program to determine how residential energy efficiency can provide social and economic benefits to the surrounding communities while also providing energy efficiency credits or carbon offsets to help Duke University become climate neutral by 2024.

Duke University’s Carbon Offsets Initiative (DCOI) has partnered with the Clinton Climate Initiative to bring a customized version of the Home Energy Affordability Loan program (HEAL) to a select number of Duke employees. The DCOI-HEAL program is offering free home energy assessments and Personal Energy Plans (a $500 value) to a limited number of Duke University employees in Durham County.

The program is designed to assist employees in making energy efficiency improvements to their homes through an easy, no-hassle process. By participating in this program, employees have the opportunity to save energy and money within their homes and help Duke University meet its goal to become carbon neutral by 2024.

The first round of the pilot resulted in energy usage reductions of an average of thirteen percent in the seven homes. DCOI is currently seeking 20 additional employees to participated in a second round of the pilot.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “transformative”?:

A brief description of the institution's transformative sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

The Office of Durham and Regional Affairs is home to the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership and the Community Service Center. Duke’s Board of Trustees created the office in 2008 to expand and deepen the university’s engagement with Durham Public Schools, the City of Durham, local neighborhoods and non-profits, and the region at large.

Durham and Regional Affairs staff members work to build and sustain partnerships and programming that advance community goals, with a special focus on local youth, K-12 education and economic development.

Duke’s support for Durham Public Schools is broad. We celebrate the ingenuity of Durham’s students through initiatives like the Duke Regional Spelling Bee; advance the professional development and community connections of school staff through programs like Visions; and respond to schools’ most pressing needs through a range of programs that address kindergarten readiness, early literacy and Latino student engagement.

Support for local schools is a natural part of Duke’s mission as an educational institution. We believe Duke’s engagement with public schools not only enhances the education of local youth; it enriches the lives of Duke students, faculty and staff.

It’s impossible to fully capture or quantify the close ties between Duke and Durham, or the endless exchange of knowledge, relationships, business and ideas. Here are a few examples of Duke’s roles as a neighbor, employer, investor and partner in Durham:
--Through the Southside Housing Incentive Program, Duke is supporting the City of Durham’s efforts to revitalize the historic Southside neighborhood while providing high-quality housing to its own middle-income employees.
--Since Duke and Self-Help entered into a loan agreement in 1994, more than 220 units of affordable housing have been built in the Walltown and Southwest Central Durham communities, with input from neighbors and support from local non-profit developers.
--With funding from Duke, the City of Durham and the federal government, the Bull City Connector bus route launched in 2010 to provide fare-free service between downtown, Duke Medical Center and the university.
--The Maplewood Square apartment building opened in 2010 for low-income seniors living in the heart of Durham’s West End community. The project was a collaboration between the City of Durham, DHIC, Durham Community Land Trustees, Duke and Self-Help.

Additionally, Duke University’s Office of Community Affairs directly coordinates the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership. The Partnership, which was formed in 1996, has a focus on affordable home ownership, educational achievement, youth outreach, neighborhood safety, and quality health care.

A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:

Many of the domestic and international programs offered to Duke students through Duke Engage are either focused on sustainability or include elements of sustainability. DukeEngage empowers students to address critical human needs through immersive service, in the process transforming students, advancing the University’s educational mission, and providing meaningful assistance to communities in the U.S. and abroad.

Students each year participate in a vast range of civic engagement activities, including environmental advocacy, community outreach, global health, education, social justice and more. Since 2007, students have:

• launched mentoring and school enrichment programs;
• created community support initiatives;
• designed health education and outreach programs;
• improved a community’s health information infrastructure;
• produced environmental education documentaries;
• developed microfinance opportunities for disadvantaged women and families.

The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative home energy efficiency program - http://sustainability.duke.edu/carbon_offsets/efficiency.php
Duke Engage - http://dukeengage.duke.edu/

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.