Sustainable Raleigh, N.C.

Raleigh, N.C., has become a pioneer of true sustainability. The city implemented a three-pronged strategy that focuses on: Environmental Stewardship, Social Equity and Economic Strength.

So the city is not just installing plug-in stations for hybrid and electric vehicles and reducing greenhouse gases, it's making buildings more efficient, reclaiming and recycling materials and resources, creating green jobs and improving infrastructure, transportation, storm water management and parks and recreation. In fact, Raleigh was named the #2 Fasted-Growing Clean (Green) Economy Job Growth among 100 Largest Metros by The Brookings Institution.

It’s a three-level plan that’s made Raleigh the first LED City on the planet and given us a chance at a higher quality of life. And meeting planners can also benefit from these practices by their events and attendees utilizing these green infrastructures and features around Raleigh.

These facts and links will help you plug into the city's green scene:

  • The Raleigh City Council has adopted the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 through the Community-wide Climate Action Plan (CCAP). Learn more 
  • RDU International Airport began implementing its first Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) in April 2023. The plan aims to improve the tracking and communication of the airport’s sustainability initiatives, increase efficiency and better incorporate economic savings and environmental stewardship into project development. Learn more
  • ​Raleigh was the first community in N.C. to receive a 4-STAR Community Rating for national excellence in sustainability.
  • Raleigh was ranked #20 among the Top 50 U.S. Cities with The Most Green Space Per Capita - Stacker, Jan. 2022
  • Raleigh was ranked #10 in the nation for sustainability - U.S. Cities Sustainable Development Report, July 2019
  • RDU International Airport Terminal 1 has been LEED certified since Dec. 2014. Learn more
  • The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences's Nature Research Center, a state-of-the-art unique meeting site option, was awarded LEED Platinum certification in June 2014. Learn more


  • With more than 175 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, Raleigh, N.C., provides plenty of options for places to charge up. The public charging stations allow EV drivers to "top off" the vehicle battery while conducting business nearby (full EV charging is typically done at home). Learn more
  • The City of Raleigh's BigBelly Solar waste and recycling collection system pilot project, part of the Clean is Green Raleigh campaign, includes nearly 50 dual stations installed throughout the city. The first 20 units were installed in downtown Raleigh's Glenwood South district. Learn more
  • Raleigh was the first municipality in the nation to partner with the Environmental Defense Fund in the Climate Corps Program. As well as, the first municipality to develop state legislation allowing cities to implement sustainability-focused projects that benefit the community. 
  • Raleigh was one of the first cities to endorse the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement’s plan for greenhouse-gas emission reduction. Learn more
  • The Raleigh Convention Center was awarded USGBC Silver LEED Certification. It is one of the first two LEED Silver Certified convention centers in the country. Learn more

Cree Shimmer Wall

  • In partnership with Cree, Raleigh is the first "LED City" in the world, recognizing more than a 40% energy savings as municipal garages switch to LED lighting. Learn more
  • The Raleigh area can claim host to more than 200+ LEED projects. Learn more
  • The City of Raleigh requires all municipal buildings over 10,000 square feet be at least at LEED Silver levels. Learn more
  • Raleigh has more than 11,000 acres of greenway trails, parklands and lakes for discovering the unexpected and getting back to nature. Learn more

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