DCC and DGCC tackled a few main projects during 2019-2020:

Hospital Energy Efficiency

The goal of the hospital efficiency team is to bring awareness to sustainability in the health system and establish accountability for its emissions. Currently, the Duke Health System is not included under the Climate Action Plan, and we aim to start a discussion about its energy efficiency. In the fall, we hosted a forum with Facilities Management Department representatives, energy policy experts, and hospital administrators to discuss energy efficiency in the hospital.  Then, in the spring, we worked alongside Rebecca Hoeffler of Sustainable Duke to write the expectations for a new sustainability coordinator position in the hospital. This involved researching other peer institutions and compiling information about their sustainable practices. The report will be finalized in Fall 2020.

Green for Durham

Duke Climate Coalition worked with the Mayor of Durham, city council people, the Sunrise Movement of Durham as well as local partner organizations to envision and promote a Green New Deal for Durham. This project team researched sustainability issues for the city and county, as well as communicating with Mayor Schewel, the city and county commissioner, and city council people. Mayor Schewel pledged to support a Green New Deal and championed a climate policy plan for Durham for his 2020 February State of the City Address which he called “Green New Durham.” People’s Alliance, a grassroots organization, is one group continuing to campaign for and research for a Green New Durham, and DCC and Sunrise Durham are continuing to support this work.


Duke Climate Coalition is dedicated to making sure Duke’s newest students feel welcome, and that starts with introducing all the resources they will need to have a successful transition. During the 2019-2020 academic year, the Orientation-week Sustainability worked on projects to aid in this transition, including two 30-Days-to-Duke videos. One will guide students through political action and voting on campus, while the other will introduce them to the ways they can be environmentally-conscious. These techniques include everything from water usage to food choices and recycling. A more comprehensive outline of Duke’e environmental impact (and how to reduce it) will be given as a presentation during O-week 2020. For those who are especially interested in the environment, we have worked with the organizers of the East Campus activities fair to place all environment-related student groups in the same area. We know O-week can be stressful for many, and we hope these resources and changes will help reduce some of that stress so the class of 2024 can have a happy and well-informed welcome to Duke!

Zero Waste

The zero waste team promoted the reusable containers initiative on campus as well as researching solutions to decreasing waste.