Earth DayThe Town of Chapel Hill is committed to the sustainability of our community. The Sustainability Office provides opportunities for citizens and businesses in the community to engage in a variety of sustainable practices and programs.

Qualified as a Sierra Club “Cool City” by the U.S. Council of Mayors, we have set a goal of reducing carbon emissions 60 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. We have joined the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign, a program sponsored by the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), and work with Carrboro, Hillsborough, and Orange County to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions.

The Town’s Comprehensive Plan is the centerpiece of policies that promote compact, mixed-use development, alternative transportation, greenway development, and environmental protection. Each of these measures is aimed toward minimizing fossil fuel dependency, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and their contribution to global warming.

In 2007, the Town formed the Sustainability Committee, to be made up of citizens interested in developing a sustainability plan for the community and carrying out education and outreach activities. The Town’s Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (SEE) Committee is made up of Council Members who develop and support sustainability policies and programs. The SEE Committee’s work has led to Town policies which encourage developers to address energy efficiency and alternative energy in their projects, and which provides incentives for developers seeking to “build green”.

We are also committed to purchasing environmentally sensitive products, including biofuel and hybrid vehicles for our municipal fleet. We’ve ensured that all Town buildings built after 2005 are outstanding examples of sustainable building practices, such as those prescribed by the LEED “Silver” certification program. A good example of this is the Town Operations Center, which opened in September 2007. The $52 million Town Operations Center project reflects the Council’s key values of sustainability, environmental sensitivity and fiscal prudence. The project includes a geothermal heating system, underground tanks to hold rainwater for flushing toilets and irrigation, and passive and active solar design feature of daylighting.

Get Involved

Sustainability Committee - Apply Today!

Contact the Office
John Richardson
Sustainability Officer
Phone: 919-969-5075

Jesse Freedman
Energy Management Specialist
Phone: 919-969-5008


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