Green Flags Committee

In November 2022 CIS Abroad formed a sustainability committee fondly known as the “Green Flags” committee.

We are joining a growing community of organizations in the education abroad field who are working to prioritize sustainability and climate action in our operations and international programming.

The connection between human health and the health of our planet has never been more evident. I’m proud to join other international education organizations in raising awareness and committing to actions that lessen our impact on the world’s ecosystems. The issue of climate change and its harmful effects can feel overwhelming and make us turn away. But if every institution or organization commits to a few proactive steps forward, the cumulative effect of these actions can truly make a difference. Join us!

Kris Holloway
CIS Abroad President & CEO

To guide us in this critical work we are staying true to these  definitions and values as we create a sustainability roadmap & action plan:

Defining sustainability using the definition from United Kingdom Houses of Parliament Office of Science and Technology: “Sustainability is the long-term maintenance and enhancement of human well-being within finite planetary resources.”

Sustainability encompasses three pillars:
Social, Economic, and Environmental.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were created as a —
“Blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”.


Sustainability Coursework Abroad

Many of our programs offer courses on the topics from environmental and climate science to sustainable tourism and fashion. The new searchable “Sustainability” major encompasses all of these topics. Start searching now! 

Green Campuses Abroad

Working closely with our site directors and overseas partners we evaluated our programs based on their commitment to sustainability and have determined CIS Abroad’s top six “green campuses”. You can see the featured universities and the programs they offer here; and check out our blog post that shares a bit more on why each university was chosen. They are doing AMAZING things!

CANIE Accord

The Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE) was formed by international education practitioners and is organized and run by volunteers from around the globe. It is an organization with the mission to bring together and inspire action to reduce emissions and reduce our impact on climate.

In May of 2023 in celebration and recognition of Earth Day CIS Abroad signed the CANIE Accord. The CANIE Accord offers a list of actions organizations can take to respond to the global climate crisis. CIS has committed to 10 articles. You can read more about which ones here

One of our commitments is to create and publish an action plan within the first year of signing. Stay tuned as we work on this plan which will then guide our initiatives for the coming years!

Go Green Scholarship
We are making strides towards sustainability and climate action and as part of this initiative we are looking for students to help further this mission. We encourage students who have a passion for and dedication to sustainability to apply for a scholarship of up to $500.

Recipients are required to take an action towards sustainability while abroad, whether it is volunteering on-site or joining a related club on campus. They are then required to submit  a blog or video at the end of their program showcasing their sustainability action.


Taking suggestions from both the CANIE Accord and the Forum on Education Abroad’s Advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals Through Education Abroad, as of January 2024 CIS Abroad has designated a member of staff with time and resources to align the company with the SDGs. This project is new and evolving, but initial goals include:
Researching and synthesizing sustainability initiatives with our core customers' values
Evaluating and designating CIS Abroad’s SDG priorities
Working with teams to embed the SDGs in our work
Serving as the point person for ongoing sustainability and climate actions

What Are We Currently Working On?

Student Guides
Our international operations team developed and launched an in depth guide to each of our distinct programs. One of the features of these Student Guides and an in-progress project will be Sustainability and will speak to the current state of actions and initiatives in each location. Specifically, there will be insight into water consumption trends and issues, methods of recycling and waste management, public transportation options and suggestions, local organizations students could get involved in, and ongoing initiatives at our overseas partner institutions.
Sustainability Action Plan
The Green Flags committee has been developing a roadmap and action plan for our sustainability and climate action work. This roadmap will celebrate recent wins as well as outline our upcoming plans for the next three years. Stay tuned for publishing in May 2024! 

Meet the Team

Kayla Weiss has been designated as CIS Abroad’s Sustainability Champion. Kayla is certified Carbon Literate through the Carbon Literacy Project, sat on the board of the Climate Action Network for International Educators from December 2021 - 2023, and is a founding member of the CIS Abroad Green Flags Committee.
Kayla Weiss
Enrollment Team
Joe Debiec
International Operations Team
Ian Lim-Bonner
University Relations Team
Amanda Murphy
Enrollment Team
Marina Weinstein
International Operations + Marketing Team
Serenah Quiroga
Outreach and Advising

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