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Sustainability at UNC-Chapel Hill

Launched in fall 2020, Sustainable Carolina is the University’s comprehensive initiative to advance and amplify all sustainability activities, including reducing the University’s environmental footprint through three goals: net zero water usage, zero waste to landfills and net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The Sustainability Council will advise the chancellor and his cabinet on sustainability strategy within the framework of Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good. To facilitate this work, the council will form four committees to set goals and track progress, integrate with other programs at the University, foster innovation and tell the University’s sustainability story. The council harnesses a broad range of expertise, experience and perspectives from across the University.

How Do We Measure Success?

We track various metrics to measure campus progress. Waste per capita has fallen approximately one percent per year since the fiscal year 2002. We have seen an overall reduction of 40% in greenhouse gas emissions since 2007. And, since 2002, the University’s water use intensity declined 67%.

UNC-Chapel Hill is certified GOLD through AASHE STARs, has received the Cool Schools ranking from Sierra Club and has been designated Silver Status from the League of American Bicyclists.

Learn More

  • Visit the contact page to request a tour of Carolina’s LEED Certified Buildings and operations, or if you would like your workplace at UNC-Chapel Hill to become a certified, sustainable environment.
  • Discover how we are making our campus greener in our recent News.
  • Keep up with our latest sustainability initiatives on campus: sign up for the newsletter.


  • A A S H E Gold Star
  • Best Workplace for Commuters 2021
  • Sierra Magazine Cool School 2017
  • Real food challenge