Office of Sustainability

Last updated Oct. 10, 2019 - 12:52 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 by testing new technologies and encouraging new ways of thinking that have a positive impact on 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.

Climate Action in Raleigh

On May 21, 2019, the City Council adopted a community-wide goal of an 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The City of Raleigh is preparing a Community-wide Climate Action Plan (CCAP). We are evaluating goals, actions and strategies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We anticipate completing the plan document by the Spring of 2020 and look forward to partnering with the community on climate action.

Raleigh Water freeFILL Program

The Raleigh Water freeFILL program aims to promote the use of refillable water bottles among Raleigh residents and visitors. The program highlights locations around the city that will allow people to fill their water bottle for free.

Raleigh Water freeFILL

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 city.

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.

The City has reports about the greenhouse gas emissions inventories, the roadmap to Raleigh's energy future, a renewable energy overview, a fuel and fleet transformation plan and others that are available for review. Read these sustainability reports detailing the City’s efforts.

Read the Sustainable Raleigh Spotlight or the latest Sustainable Raleigh eNewsletter to learn about some of our recent projects. To receive future issues of the Sustainable Releigh eNewsletter, sign up through MyRaleigh Subscriptions.

Read the Sustainability Reports and Publications

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

Urban Agriculture

Urban garden

The Environmental Advisory Board hosted Urban Agriculture Day on Oct. 8, 2016 at Mordecai Historic Park. The board recognized seven local gardens and farms that received urban agriculture “mini-grants” at the 2016 Environmental Awards Ceremony and discussed their projects. Steve Cohen, Portland, Oregon's Urban Ag and Food Policy manager provided an overview of the Portland Program. The board also hosted 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 2017 Urban Agriculture Awards winners

Environmental Awards

Environmental Awards

The City of Raleigh's annual Environmental Awards celebration recognizes outstanding work in environmental stewardship. Sponsorships are available and the event is a free public celebration.

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.

Sustainable Raleigh eNewsletter Archive

Past Issues of the Sustainable Raleigh eNewsletter:

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

To receive future issues of the Sustainable Releigh eNewsletter, sign up through MyRaleigh Subscriptions.

Contact Information

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

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