UNC Climate Action Plan

In January 2007, then-Chancellor Moeser signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). As a signatory, UNC joined more than 600 universities with a pledge to become carbon neutral as soon as possible. Since, UNC has pledged to become coal-free by 2020 and carbon-neutral by 2050.

A task force has assembled to develop an action plan to reduce greenhouse emissions from several different aspects, including energy management, purchasing, transportation, and waste management. OWRR fits into the Climate Action Plan and greenhouse gas inventory by encouraging waste reduction and composting.

According to the EPA, recycling, waste reduction, and composting reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane in many ways. They reduce energy and resource consumption that normally would be required for raw material abstraction and manufacturing.  Recycling also reduces the need for raw material acquisition, including the need to cut down trees, thereby maintaining carbon sequestration in forests. Composting reduces greenhouse emissions by creating a natural breakdown of organic waste while also diverting waste from a landfill. Landfilling results in the release of methane from the anaerobic decomposition of organic materials. Methane is 21 times more potent a GHG than carbon dioxide.

Information About Sustainability at Carolina

For more information on Sustainability at Carolina, visit UNC Three Zeros.


Policy Description
Governor Hunt’s Teleworking (#155)  Executive Order Creates the Teleworking Program to research benefits of teleworking and reduce traffic and air pollution.
H.B. 1465 (Plastic Bottle Ban, and other materials) Bans the disposal of used oil, yard waste, white goods, antifreeze, aluminum cans, scrap tires, batteries, motor vehicle oil filters, water bottles, wooden pallets, and oyster shells.
Memo from Interim Chancellor William O. McCoy Use of non-recycled vs. minimum 30% post-consumer content recycled paper.
NC Solid Waste Management Act Motion to improve landfill technology, address public health implications of landfills, reduce litter and illegal disposal, substantially increase the amount of waste recycled and composted, information to the public regarding waste management facilities, and reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfill.
Sustainability Executive Orders (#156) Environmental sustainability, energy conservation, reduction of solid waste, and procurement of environmentally preferable products.
UNC-Chapel Hill Energy Efficient Purchasing Policy Establishes energy efficiency as criteria in selecting equipment to be purchased.
UNC-Chapel Hill Energy Efficient Lighting Policy This policy requires the campus to ensure that all future building projects that include lighting will dictate fluorescent fixtures and lights and that all existing incandescent lamps on campus be replaced with compact fluorescent lamps no later than January 31, 2008.
UNC Board of Governors Sustainability Policy “Carolina seeks continuous improvement in the planning, construction, and operation of capital facilities; providing transportation systems that support alternatives to single occupancy vehicles; procuring and managing energy, water, and materials; stewarding natural resources; and researching and teaching sustainability principles and approaches. Budget planning, staffing, metrics of success, and performance reviews reflect these University priorities.”
University Leaders for Sustainable Futures, Talloires Declaration The Talloires Declaration serves as a framework of action outlining the role and responsibilities of universities in supporting environmentally sustainable development and advancing global environmental literacy.
University Recycling Statement This document describes the University’s waste reduction commitment.
University Resolution Student Government resolution supporting recycling at athletic events.