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Green Initiative

Snorkeling in Wollongong Australia.

In response to the overwhelming global climate crisis, AIFS Abroad is pleased to make Sustainability a key priority when considering organizational, operational, and programming decisions. We understand that the only way to effectively combat this crisis and mitigate the effects of climate change is to drastically reduce our environmental impact. Therefore, AIFS Abroad has committed to reaching carbon neutrality by the year 2025.

The Green Initiative has three pillars. Green Business that includes auditing our own business practices and our program partners to reduce our consumption of finite resources and limiting our carbon footprint. Sustainability Education for both our program participants, through onsite engagement with local environmental projects, and within our industry as a leader in our field. Offsetting Carbon Emissions by purchasing verified carbon credits for all our program participants round trip flights to their program location.

The Green Initiative was started in January 2020 by Global Experiences and was expanded in January 2021 to encompass all of AIFS Abroad.

Sustainability Education

We are passionate about building environmental education into all our programs, exposing participants to best practices in host countries and providing incentives and tools to help reduce each participant’s environmental footprint.

Green Business

We are auditing all our organizational activities to reduce our environmental footprint, including dramatically reducing paper use, introducing new ways to share information at student and industry fairs and conferences, examining office practices and focusing on energy usage overall.

Carbon Offsets

All AIFS Abroad Participants will have their international air travel offset by the purchasing of carbon credits in vetted global projects, primarily in developing countries.

AIFS Abroad is proud to announce we have signed the CANIE Accord, becoming the first US provider to make this commitment. The voluntary agreement to this initiative further impresses our commitment to mitigate and reduce our impact in the climate crisis.

Formed by international education practitioners, CANIE (Climate Action Network for International Educators) is a grassroots endeavor to take action on climate change. The CANIE Accord was implemented to recognize, collaborate, and advance the international education communities’ response to global climate change.

AIFS Abroad is partnering with The Gold Standard to offset carbon emissions from our operations and programming. We are thrilled to have selected the three organizations below for 2021.

A forest landscape.

Buenos Aires REnewable Energy Project, Brazil

Tons to offset: 205

This project works to tackle deforestation due to illegal logging by switching fuel use in region from illegal firewood to agricultural and industrial residues. This also serves to reduce indoor air pollution, avoids greenhouse gas emissions and promotes a sustainable supply chain.

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Two children washing up beside a river.

Terra Clear Clean Water Access for Laos

Tons to Offset: 136

TerraClear is breaking down the barriers that make clean water access a challenge for rural communities. Creative strategies and community focused education and promotion are allowing TerraClear to provide access to safe drinking water through the manufacture and distribution of more than 70,000 ceramic filters in over 1000 villages in Laos.

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A landscape with wind turbines.

Wind Power Project in Madhya Pradesh, India

Tons to Offset: 272

This project has played an important role in reducing CO2 emissions and will continue to contribute towards the economic growth of the area by generating 180 GWh of clean electricity annually, which is equivalent to powering 42,000 households every year.

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Past donations by GE in 2020

Two children washing their hands.

Safe Water Access in Rwanda

This project works with local NGOs in Rwanda to deliver clean, safe water to people. This project also provides water sanitation and hygiene training to ensure that the community water supply is maintained.

Two wind turbines.

100MW Wind Power Project in Andhra Pradesh, India

This project consists of 50 wind turbines that generate clean energy for the local community in the district of Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, India.

A landscape in Australia.

Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Project

This project aims to recreate a healthy, functioning landscape, restored after decades of habitat loss and degradation. This will become the new bush that helps connect to the Australian Outback.

Carbon Offsetting Progress

AIFS will be partnering with The Gold Standard to offset carbon emissions from AIFS Abroad operations and programming.

  1. Transportation – AIFS has offset 780 Tonnes of carbon for 2021 from international flights for AIFS Abroad Participants.
  2. Outreach – AIFS has increased its virtual outreach and participation in events and will continue to evaluate travel vs. Virtual participation feasibility.
  3. Focus on staying local – We are encouraging students to immerse themselves in their local host country and limit their short flights during their program and choose trains over planes.

Education Progress

  1. General Educational Materials – AIFS Abroad has developed various resources to educate students on the climate change issue and sustainable practices.
  2. Location-specific Educational Materials – AIFS Abroad has created a variety of location specific materials to help students engage with the environmental issues and traditional sustainable practices in their host locations.  
  3. Green Ambassador Program – AIFS Abroad is developing a Green Ambassador Scholarship Program to encourage students to engage with the environmental aspect of their study abroad experience and engage their peers on environmental and sustainability topics.

Green Business Practices Progress

  1. Paper – AIFS Abroad has moved its Paper catalogue, that has been printed every year since 1964, into a digital format reducing our biggest source of paper use. In 2019 AIFS printed 55,500 catalogues with a total count of 9,577,000 pieces of paper. On the low end of 20,000 pages in a tree grown for this purpose, AIFS will now be saving nearly 500 trees per year.
  2. Audit – AIFS abroad will begin to audit each physical office to find new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and environmental impact
  3. Hybrid Work – AIFS Abroad has expanded our hybrid work environment reducing the amount of staff commuting to an office

Engage with Us

Tell us about your experience! How did you engage with sustainability while abroad? Share your experiences with us to help educate future students and promote sustainability in study abroad!

Green Initiative Survey
A woman holding a plant.

Contact Us

We hope that you will join us on this journey to make the Earth a better place for everyone. If you would like more details about our Green Initiative, please email us at

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Hands holding a green globe.