Raleigh's Commitment to Sustainability

The Cornerstone of our Vision for the Future

Last updated Feb. 04, 2016 - 2:46 pm

The Office of Sustainability was created in 2008 to provide guidance for policy development and goal setting for the City of Raleigh.

Sustainability is a broad term that addresses three fundamental principles: economic strength, environmental stewardship, and social equity. We believe a sustainable community is a thriving community; one that provides opportunity for all residents, cares for the environment, and has a vision for the future.

The Office of Sustainability is located in the City Manager's office and works collaboratively with all City departments to become a leader in sustainability. We also partner with local business community, universities, and civic and nonprofit organizations to build relationships.

Definition of Sustainability

City of Raleigh's definition of sustainability is adopted from The President's Council on Sustainable Development.

"Sustainable communities encourage people to work together to create healthy communities where natural and historic resources are preserved, jobs are available, sprawl is contained, neighborhoods are secure, education is lifelong, transportation and health care are accessible, and all citizens have opportunities to improve the quality of their lives."

In 2009, City Council reaffirmed its mission statement, "We are a 21st Century City of innovation focusing on environmental, cultural and economic sustainability."

These three fundamental principles guide our decisions as a 21st century city of innovation.

City Council Mission Statement

In December of 2009, the City Council reaffirmed its mission statement.

"We are a 21st Century City of Innovation focusing on environmental, cultural and economic sustainability.

We conserve and protect our environmental resources through best practices and cutting edge conservation and stewardship, land use, infrastructure and building technologies.

We welcome growth and diversity through policies and programs that will protect, preserve and enhance Raleigh's existing neighborhoods, natural amenities, rich history, and cultural and human resources for future generations.

We lead to develop an improved neighborhood quality of life and standard of living for all our citizens.

We work with our universities, colleges, citizens and regional partners to promote emerging technologies, create new job opportunities and cultivate local businesses and entrepreneurs.

We recruit and train a 21st Century staff with the knowledge and skill sets to carry out this mission, through transparent civic engagement and providing the very best customer service to our current citizens in the most efficient and cost-effective manner."

Environmental Stewardship

environmental stewardship

Raleigh endorsed the US Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement and completed our greenhouse gas emissions inventory. We're installing renewable energy technologies, using LEED Silver as our standard for new buildings, converting streetlights to LED, and investing in alternative fuels and infrastructure.

Social Equity

social equity

Providing better neighborhoods, life skills for youth, meaningful civic engagement and volunteerism are core to Raleigh's mission. We are dedicated to improving social equity and our standard of living. We are working to keep home ownership affordable and establishing residential energy efficiency programs.

More on Social Equity

Economic Strength

economic strength

Every Sustainable Raleigh program and innovative technology project must show economic benefit through job growth and building our green economy. We have implemented a sustainable purchasing policy, life-cycle costs analysis in capital projects, a fuel-consumption budget and a buy-local initiative.

More about economic benefits

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