Office of Sustainability

Last updated Oct. 26, 2016 - 4:37 pm

Raleigh's commitment to sustainability focuses on interdependent relationships between Economic Strength, Environmental Stewardship and Social Equity.

The Office of Sustainability works to make the world a better place. We save resources, and money, through testing new technologies and encouraging new ways of thinking that positively impact the environment, our local economy and all who live, work and play in Raleigh. Our innovative leadership will make Raleigh a resilient city, better positioned to manage inevitable natural and economic challenges.

Read the Sustainable Raleigh Spotlight or the latest Sustainable Raleigh eNewsletter; to receive future issues, sign up through MyRaleigh Subscriptions.

eNewsletter Archives:
2016: January | March | May | July | September
2015: January | March | May | July | September | November
2014: January | March | May | July | September | November
2013: January | March | May | July | September | November

Contact Information

919-996-3070 | email
3rd Floor - Avery C Upchurch Municipal Complex 222 W. Hargett St.
Twitter: @SustainableRAL

Raleigh is a Nationally Certified 4-STAR Community

STAR logo

Raleigh is a certificated 4-STAR community, and the first community in North Carolina to achieve certification through the national STAR Community Rating System (STAR) for excellence in sustainability. STAR is a robust sustainability rating system where communities evaluate themselves across seven goal areas: built environment; climate and energy; economy and jobs; education, arts and community; equity and empowerment; health and safety; and natural systems.

STAR presentation video

Sustainability Reports & Publications

The Office of Sustainability works to create an organizational environment where each City departmental operation, investment and initiative incorporates the Council's commitment to building a sustainable 21st Century City of Innovation.

The City’s focus has been to identify, test, evaluate and implement innovative technologies, policies, programs, strategies, partnerships and financing approaches. Using pilot and demonstration projects and grants to improve the City's internal operations, these efforts often save taxpayers money, as reported in a Raleigh Public Record article. Read sustainability reports detailing the City’s efforts.

Read the Roadmap to Raleigh's Energy Future and more

Urban Agriculture

Urban garden

The Environmental Advisory Board hosted Urban Agriculture Day on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at Mordecai Historic Park. The 7 local gardens and farms that received urban agriculture “mini-grants” at the 2016 Environmental Awards Ceremony were recognized and discussed their projects. Steve Cohen, Portland, Oregon's Urban Ag and Food Policy manager provided an overview of the Portland Program. There was also a discussion of how the presence of agriculture in the urban environment positively affects the natural environment, the local economy, social relations and household economic behavior, all of which contribute to the livability of the city.

Learn more about Community Gardens

Learn more about the 2015 Urban Agriculture Awards winners

Environmental Awards

Environmental Awards

The City of Raleigh's annual Environmental Awards program recognizes outstanding work in environmental stewardship. Sponsorships are available until March 25, and the free public celebration of winners is the evening of April 21.

Accolades and Leadership

Sustainable Raleigh Awards and Recognition

Raleigh's sustainability efforts and initiatives seek to improve the quality of life for all residents, promote emerging technologies, create new job opportunities and cultivate local businesses and entrepreneurs. Achievements in this arena have garnered the City numerous awards and accolades, and make Raleigh a leader in sustainability.

Economic Benefits

Raleigh City Plaza LED Ornamental Towers

The City of Raleigh seeks to value and foster development and opportunities that recruit and grow environmentally conscious industries and business while promoting sustainable practices and reducing negative impacts on the environment.

Learn more about Economic Benefits

Education, Outreach and Resources


Education and outreach activities keep residents, universities, civic organizations and other interested parties informed about programs, initiatives, and accomplishments. This provides opportunities to foster partnerships, provide training and engage in community building.

Learn more about Education, Outreach and Resources

Mobility and Transportation

RLine Bus

As the City of Raleigh continues to grow it encourages a sustainable infrastructure for numerous modes of transportation, including the addition of electric vehicle charging stations, affordable transit, bicycle lanes, and greenway trails.

Natural Resource Protection

Natural Resource Protection

The City of Raleigh actively supports the conservation and preservation of the air, water and land.

Learn more about Natural Resource Protection

Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency

Raleigh Convention Center Solar Array

The City of Raleigh works to promote emerging technologies, create new job opportunities and cultivate local businesses and entrepreneurs and renewable energy initiatives address all of these at once. Numerous efforts promote energy efficiency; the City of Raleigh is committed to conserving energy, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and providing real dollar savings to Raleigh citizens.

Learn more about Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency


Mayor McFarlane Presents Big Belly Solar Waste Collection System

City of Raleigh's Solid Waste Services department provides a waste collection, recycling and disposal system supporting Raleigh's vision to create a sustainable future for generations. The BigBelly Solar pilot project harnesses the power of the sun to eliminate wasted resources.

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