Social responsibility

For 30 years, the EAIE has been committed to creating an ecosystem where fresh ideas and best practices around international education can flourish, striving to make it sustainable and equitable in the process. As our community grows, we aim to lead by example and support international education professionals as best we can, so they, in turn, can enable students to become global citizens and enrich the society in which they choose to live and work.

At the EAIE, our values drive us to play our part in contributing to a sustainable future for generations to come. Today, the impact of our community’s work extends beyond the walls of higher education institutions to the choices that we make. In recent years, we have been working towards a more sustainable EAIE ecosystem.

To show our commitment we are pledging to support three of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 4 Quality educationSDG 12 Responsible consumption and production and SDG 13 Climate Action. We are proud signatories of the SDG Accord, which is the higher education sector’s response to the Global Goals. It celebrates and advances the critical role that education has in delivering the SDGs and the value it brings to society at large. We also were one of the first signatories of the CANIE Accord, which signifies the shared commitment of the international education sector to align with scientific recommendations and worldwide climate agreements. 

International higher education

Advocating inclusive, quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for everyone are the foundations to the UN’s SDG 4, and this is also part of the EAIE’s mission. Education helps reduce inequalities, fosters intercultural understanding and aids conflict resolution. We encourage best practices among internationalisation professionals so they can play their part in making the world a more inclusive and better place. Steps we have taken to support SDG 4 in the context of international higher education:


Responsible consumption and production are at the core of the UN’s SDG 12. At the EAIE we want to contribute to a clean future by choosing whenever possible sustainable and green venues, suppliers and products. SDG 12 goes hand in hand with SDG 13, which is a call to take immediate action to combat climate change and its impact. As we know that the Annual EAIE Conference & Exhibition has a significant impact on the environment, this is also where we can make the biggest difference. Here’s what we do to support this goal:


Strategy & operations: we embed climate action in organisational mission and strategies, policies and frameworks including official strategic documents. We also strive to replace physical meetings with online ones when possible and logical and have implemented a flexible and equitable work-from-home policy at the EAIE Office.


Work with sustainable venues: each year during our Annual Conference & Exhibition, we work with venues that conform to responsible consumption standards and actively discuss how we can work together to further these. Efforts related to the venue are: reducing food waste, water and energy consumption; encouraging the recycling of materials post-conference.  


Offsetting our carbon footprint: the EAIE plants trees in partnership with Trees for All to offset the carbon footprint of our community gathering for the Annual Conference and Exhibition. Their projects address environmental conservation, reforestation and improve the socio-economic circumstances of the farmers and communities from Bolivia to the Philippines.


Vegetarian catering: during our Annual Conference & Exhibition, we work together with the local catering companies and food suppliers to provide plant-based, locally sourced ingredients in the daily meals for our participants. We also aim to eliminate single-use plastics and opt for compostable or other biodegradable alternatives. 


Embracing fair trade and sustainable items: we make conscious choices when it comes to conference materials such as biodegradable coffee cups and cutlery, ecological printing paper and reusable water bottles. For several years we have partnered with Township, a company that makes our conference bags and supports female entrepreneurship in Cape Town, South Africa.


Stimulate the EAIE community to take action: during EAIE conferences and in our publications we include climate action as a recurring theme and encourage our community to take action. Throughout the days of the conference, we ask conference participants and exhibitors to make conscious choices when it comes to transport, food, water and electricity consumption.