WorldStrides Celebrates Corporate Social Responsibility and Earth Day!

As a global organization, WorldStrides has a global responsibility. And as an educational travel company, what’s one of the best ways to educate? By example. The WorldStrides family is committed to being socially, environmentally, and fiscally responsible, both in our offices and on tour. We focus on employee diversity, equity, and inclusion as we support the growth of our team members. We support our local communities where we work and travel to around the world, and we make ethical business decisions in pursuit of the company’s future success. We’ve recently launched a formal Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, with a dedicated team who will help to drive a portfolio of even larger and more ambitious initiatives in this important area. “During the continued development of our CSR strategy, we will support impact initiatives in our offices and on tour,” said Ian Zurzolo, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at WorldStrides. “Every company should invest in being socially and environmentally responsible since it is the ‘right thing to do’; however, we believe it is also the best thing to do to create long-term value for our business.” (Stay tuned blog fans – you’ll be hearing more from Ian here in the months ahead!)

So what does that mean? Here are some examples:

  • Boxed Lunches. Remember that whole educate by example thing? A new way we are acting on this is through the boxed lunches students often enjoy while traveling with WorldStrides. With the help of a few key partners, we have piloted a recycling plan that is currently being piloted on our Washington, D.C. programs. (We are also currently working with select meal vendor partners to begin using biodegradable materials like cutlery, plates, etc. in New York City programs.) The estimated impact of these changes to our meals program is huge. In fact, in Washington D.C. alone, potential savings equals 7 Tons per year – that’s 5400 lbs, or 245 trips to the curb with your average-sized bag of garbage!

WorldStrides is proud to announce our efforts are not going unnoticed. In fact, our recent meals initiative was recently nominated for the Innovator of the Year award by the Charlottesville Better Business Challenge. “Efforts like this make people feel good about working here and traveling with us. We are thrilled our community is recognizing WorldStrides for this,” said Chas Lum, Director of Meal Operations at WorldStrides.

Recycling in Boston
Recycling efforts during a program in Boston.
  • More recycling bins! Ever notice perfectly recyclable paper thrown in the trash? A few sustainability-minded colleagues at WorldStrides headquarters decided to see what they could do to help encourage recycling at work. The team launched a successful campaign to distribute 52 additional recycling bins throughout the Charlottesville office in March 2019. These bins included two easily identifiable types: one for paper, and one for plastic bottles, cans, paper cartons and foil containers.
Charlottesville Recycling Team
Charlottesville Recycling Team
  • Earth Day fundraiser. Did someone say tacos? The Green Team at International Studies Abroad (ISA), a division of WorldStrides in Austin, hosted a Breakfast Taco Drive to celebrate Earth Day! The funds raised will be put toward sustainability initiatives in their new office. The event was also an opportunity to receive feedback from all employees in Austin to see what sustainability efforts they would most like to see at ISA. Colleagues were also encouraged to sign up for the Green Team to take an active role in launching future initiatives.
ISA Austin's Green Team
ISA Austin’s Green Team

Stay tuned to learn more about our Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability initiatives across the WorldStrides family!

Article written by Ellen Sewell

Ellen Sewell
Ellen’s background is in digital marketing, and she has a passion for travel and experiencing new places. When she’s not scrolling behind the screen sourcing content, Ellen enjoys spending time with her husband, son and golden retriever.