Climate Action Plan


We’ve never had a better chance …

… to help make the world greener.

As a common initiative between CEPA and CEPA Foundation,
in 2018 we evaluated how much our organizations contribute to the climate crisis
and set specific goals on
how our climate impact can be mitigated.

142 carbon positive study abroad group programs

(since January 2023)

Trees planted: 4,248

(since October 2019)

Tonnes of CO₂ offset: 2,179.50

(since October 2019)

World Environment Day 2024

Our Climate Action Goals


Become a Carbon Neutral Study Abroad Organization

CEPA is certified by Green Initiative for its CO2 footprint management and offset. In partnership with the Saimiri Foundation and the Green Initiative, CEPA is committed to planting trees for ecosystem restoration and purchasing carbon credits to offset its Study Abroad Programs and operational CO2 emissions.

Support Rainforest and Ecosystem Conservation Projects

Support service-learning and conservation projects at the Saimiri Foundation by planting native trees and vegetation to restore the natural habitat of endangered species in the area, such as primates.

Make our Study Abroad Programs Nature Positive

Students and faculty automatically reduce the environmental impact of their study abroad experience because CEPA voluntarily compensates the CO2 emissions created during their program and plant trees for ecosystem restoration, through CEPA’s Nature Positive Project in Costa Rica and carbon credits (CERs).

Climate Education and Sustainable Travel

As part of our long-term strategy, we hope to inspire, encourage, and educate our partners and participants by giving them the information and tools needed to be more responsible and make study abroad a force for good.

What is our strategy to reach our goals?

"CEPA CARES" is our climate action pledge to manage our Co2 footprint, which means we:

1. Measure our emissions

Co2 emissions are measured and evaluated following the global GHG Protocols

2. Reduce our emissions 

Make climate-smart changes in our office activities and services

3. Compensate our emissions and beyond

Compensate emissions through off-setting, including volunteer actions for forest restoration and Certified Emission Reductions (CER's).

4. Educate our partners and students

Strategy to be developed and implemented in 2023.


1. Measure


CEPA commissioned Green Initiative to:

  1. Measure its carbon footprint
  2. Facilitate its compliance with new regulations and climate standards 
  3. Provide recommendations to reduce its carbon footprint
  4. Monitor its carbon reduction project for independent verification of mitigation partners

Green Initiative's Responsibilities:

  • Support CEPA in the Nature Positive Services project design
  • Make the Green Initiative Report Page platform available to CEPA and its University partners
  • Provide technical assistance and execute the review of Fundación Saimiri Forest Restorations Reports
  • Engage with CEPA and Saimiri Foundation in quarterly performance evaluations

Green Initiative is a strategic partner of the United Nations Climate Neutral Now

Learn more about the Green Initiative >


2. Reduce

Reduce carbon emissions resulting from CEPA office and operations such as energy use, air travel, paper consumption, and heating oil. CEPA will implement the recommendations made by Green Initiative in different phases.


The Carbon Neutral Certificate, issued by Green Initiative, is the main certification of climate responsibility that recognizes the achievement of neutralization of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, of CEPA organization and services.


  • Performing an energy audit to identify points of heat loss that could be addressed through better insulation, caulk, or weather-stripping
  • Increasing the frequency of furnace/boiler maintenance to at least once per year
  • Installing programmable thermostats that turn down the heat when no one is present
  • Transitioning to a heating system that uses natural gas or other energy sources that emit less CO2e than heating oil
  • Avoiding blocking the radiators with furniture or other objects that may disrupt the flow of heat.

Air Travel

  • Increasing the use of videoconference systems or other remote-work technologies to cut down on air travel
  • Maximizing the value of business trips by consolidating meetings and other activities, which may require increasing the average length of stay
  • Favoring airlines with newer fleets, emissions-reduction policies, or carbon-offset programs


  • Upgrading all electrical equipment to “category A” energy-efficiency standards, the upfront expense of which will be offset by reduced electricity costs over the long term
  • Adopting an overall energy-efficiency plan that includes installing energy-saving lightbulbs, disconnecting electrical appliances when not in use, regulating the use of heating
    and cooling, limiting the use of lighting during daylight hours, and reorganizing the layout of facilities to maximize their energy efficiency

Paper Consumption

  • Increasing the use of online publications, videos, and other digital media, and using printed publications only when strictly necessary
  • Using lightweight paper types, sustainably produced natural inks, or environmentally friendly paper brands
  • Reducing the amount of paper used by printing on both sides of all documents

3. Compensate

Our goal is to plant 20,000 trees by the year 2030. It is important to provide our stakeholders with the necessary information and options to allow them to make climate-friendly travel choices whenever possible.


Who are our Climate Action partners for mitigation?

Our partner, the Saimiri Foundation, is a non-profit organization established in 2010. Based in Costa Rica, Saimiri’s main objective is rescuing, preserving, and protecting wildlife and natural resources in the Osa Conservation Area, one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet.

“By planting, monitoring, and maintaining these trees, we are not only reducing our carbon footprint, but also protecting the region's biodiversity and creating new jobs which, in turn, will help discourage illegal logging.”

Green Initiative offers support and know how to development agencies, national and multilateral financial institutions, companies, NGOs and governments that seek the implementation of a new path towards sustainability, through global standards for climate action, the decarbonization of production systems and the enhancement of ecosystem services.

With Green Initiative’s advice, CEPA is able to comply with climate regulations and contribute with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

CEPA is listed on the UN website as an official signatory of the initiative.

Climate Neutral Certified

This Greenhouse Gas (GHG) footprint certification recognizes that emissions have been calculated and subsequently compensated within the scope of the United Nations Kyoto Protocol.

Through its participation in the United Nations Climate Neutral Now inititave,
CEPA purchases UN certified emission reductions (CERs), a type of carbon credit, to offset the remaining emissions which cannot yet be avoided.


Why did we choose these mitigation solutions and partners?

Through purchasing certified carbon offsets and at the same time, investing in a small, climate-smart forestry project,
we are
directly addressing climate change in ways that make a big impact and also empower individuals in the local community.

Most of all, it was important that our efforts go far beyond carbon reduction.

They must be transparent, tangible, and provide multiple benefits, not only for the environment and wildlife,
but also for the local community and our university partners, faculty leaders, and study abroad students.

Benefits of planting trees

  • The reforested areas the Osa Conservation Area in Costa Rica will serve as forested corridors for wandering animals seeking for new habitats.

Benefits for the wildlife

  • Threatened animal species will have their habitat protected and restored like the central American squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii), the Bairdii Tapis (Tapirus bairdii), as well as other important mammals.

Benefits for the community

The project will provide seasonal employment for the local inhabitants.

  • A botanist who will maintain the tree nursery
  • A local worker who will collect seeds of endangered trees, provide maintenance and planting support

4. Educate

We will communicate CEPA's Co2 initiatives to our partner universities, service providers and networks, to inform how they can make low-carbon choices, measure their climate footprint and reduce and/or offset their carbon emissions of energy use, travelling, eating and consumption habits, electronic devices, etc.


Planning for the future...

Take Action - Support Us - Here is what you can do

Help us plant

twenty thousand trees

by 2030

The Goal: To plant 20,000 trees from 13 different native species by the year 2030.

The reforested areas will serve as forested corridors for wandering animals seeking for new habitats and help protect the habitats of threatened animal species.

The project will provide seasonal employment for the local inhabitants such as a botanist who will maintain the tree nursery and a local worker who will collect seeds of endangered trees, and provide maintenance and planting support.

Threatened animal species will have their habitat protected and restored like the central American squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii), the Bairdii Tapis (Tapirus bairdii), as well as other important mammals. 

Offsetting Study Abroad

CEPA voluntarily compensates the CO2 emissions and the environmental impact of study abroad experiences created during a program through CEPA’s Carbon Reduction Project in Costa Rica + Carbon Compensation through Certified Emission Reductions (CER's).

Plant trees for ecosystem restoration

Support CEPA's biodiversity project in the reforested areas the Osa Conservation Area in Costa Rica, providing forested corridors for wandering animals seeking for new habitats.

Access your certificate and report

Click on the link below and insert your Study Abroad Program code listed on your itinerary cover page to navigate through your exclusive offset and ecosystem restoration reports. You will also be able to geo-track the plot of land where your tree was planted and download a copy of your certificate.