We are proud of our commitment and accomplishments around environmental and social responsibility on all levels of our organization. Find out more about Living Routes Vision, Mission and Values here. The following are examples of ways we strive to model sustainable practices:
We are committed to reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationships with our local communities.
Living Routes hires and supports faculty, staff, and experts from within our host sites whenever possible. They know their communities best and this allows resources (e.g. salaries) to stay local and minimizes the environmental impacts of air travel. We offer fair wages for work that is being done rather than try to undercut prices.
By basing our programs in sustainable communities, we naturally support local, organic food production, renewable energy systems, appropriate technologies, green buildings and residences, and other human-scale experiments in sustainable development.
A core dilemma for Living Routes is the fact that, while we are all about sustainability, we run programs that require flying students all around the globe. We are committed to addressing this issue by measuring and reducing our carbon footprint and supporting site-based projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Find out more about our core program features and Living Routes history here.
Living Routes has been quite creative in communicating with students and colleagues in our field in ways that have maximum impact, with minimal resource waste.
Living Routes has been working with The Forum on Education Abroad and colleagues in the field to develop new Sustainability Standards of Best Practice that all education programs should strive to meet.
In order to help professionals in the field communicate around these issues, Living Routes started a Sustainability Abroad Listserv in 2007 and helped set up a Sustainability Specific Interest Group within NAFSA, the leading study abroad organization.
Living Routes was the first study abroad organization to incorporate student blogging on its programs (starting in fall ’03) and we are expanding our social media presence.
In addition to directing people to our website whenever possible, all our materials are also all available as PDF downloads from our website.
We use Skype extensively to stay in communication with faculty and staff in the field.
Lao Tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” While these commitments represent quite a few steps along the path towards sustainability, we recognize we still have a long way to go. We are excited to implement new and creative ways we can further walk our talk as we continue to challenge students on the highest quality programs we can develop. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or suggestions. Thanks!