Track Our Progress

The university’s sustainability efforts are driving down costs, improving efficiency, advancing transformative research, educating a new generation of leaders and ultimately helping create a better world. Browse the highlights or download full reports below to learn how our programs are engaging campus and community in preparing for a more sustainable future.

Gold Rating in sustainability performance from the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (2016-2019)

69 campus workplaces, 350+ campus events and 9 student organizations have achieved sustainability certification

37% campus energy use intensity reduction since 2003

64% campus potable water use reduction since 2002

61% of campus waste diverted from landfill

17% of NC State Dining purchases are local food

700+ participants in the campus alternative commute program

72% of incoming students in 2020 said NC State’s sustainability commitments influenced their decision to attend the university

1.35 million campus square footage that is Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) certified

119 Sustainability-Related Degrees

775+ courses related to at least one of the global Sustainable Development Goals

600+ Sustainability-Related Researchers

500,000+ Wolfline bus passenger boardings annually

125+ sustainability-related campus events annually

Annual Sustainability Reports

NC State’s Annual Sustainability Report is issued by the Campus Environmental Sustainability Team (prior to 2015) and the Sustainability Council beginning in 2015. An NC State Advanced Auditing class audited the 2012-2013 Annual Sustainability Report and summarized its findings and recommendations. Students in the spring 2015 course audited the 2013-2014 report and summarized its findings and recommendations. Students in the spring 2017 course audited the 2015-2016 report and summarized its findings and recommendations.

Access NC State’s report in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) Report System, a national third-party sustainability reporting system that awarded NC State a Gold rating for sustainability.

Awards and Recognition

2022NC State received a Gold rating in Sustainability Tracking Assessment, and Reporting System (STARS)
NC State ranks in 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Report, which evaluates the research, stewardship, outreach and teaching contributions of universities toward the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
– No. 4 in the U.S. and tied for No. 26 in the world for “Life Below Water” (SDG Goal 14)
– No. 5 in the U.S. and No. 50 in the world for “Clean Water and Sanitation” (SDG Goal 6)
– No. 9 in the U.S. and top 200 globally for “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” (SDG Goal 9)
– Top 25% (out of 1,431) for “Partnership for the Goals” (SDG Goal 17)
– Top 3rd (out of 938) for “Gender Equality” (SDG Goal 5)
– Top 200 for “Zero Hunger” (SDG Goal 2), “Reduced Inequalities” (SDG Goal 10), “Responsible Consumption and Production” (SDG Goal 12),
and “Life on Land” (SDG Goal 15)
– Overall, NC State ranked in the top 200 universities around the globe and tied for No. 7 among U.S. universities
QS World University Rankings: Sustainability lists NC State No. 45 in the U.S. and No 18 in the U.S. for Sustainable Research
2021Princeton Review ranks NC State the nation’s 18th greenest college
NC State named an ‘Energy Elite‘ by American Energy Society
NC State ranks in 2021Times Higher Education Impact Report, which evaluates the research, stewardship, outreach and teaching contributions of universities toward the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
– No. 1 in the U.S. and tied for No. 6 in the world for “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” (SDG Goal 9)
– No. 7 in the U.S. and No. 41 in the world for “Clean Water and Sanitation” (SDG Goal 6)
– No. 7 in the U.S. and No. 64 in the world for “Zero Hunger” (SDG Goal 2)
– Tied for No. 30 in the U.S. for “Partnerships for the Goals” (SDG Goal 17)
Zero Waste Wolfpack program wins GameDay Recycling Challenge Waste Minimization per Capita
2020Princeton Review ranks NC State the nation’s 30th greenest college
University Housekeeping wins Business Innovation for Environmental Stewardship Award by the City of Raleigh
Carolina Recycling Association’s Outstanding College or University Program Award for the Zero Waste Wolves’ Paper Towel Composting Program
2019Princeton Review ranks NC State the nation’s 17th greenest college
Wolf Pack-N-Give program earns City of Raleigh Environmental Award
Zero Waste Wolfpack program was named a Green Sports Alliance Environmental Innovator of the Year and Carolina Recycling Association Annual Award
2018
Princeton Review ranks NC State the nation’s 42nd greenest college
Zero Waste Wolfpack program earns City of Raleigh Environmental Award
Zero Waste Workplace program earns Carolina Recycling Association Annual Award
2017Members of NC State community receive several campus, community sustainability awards 
Recognized by Princeton Review as a Green College
Zero Waste Workplace program earns City of Raleigh Environmental Award
2016NC State received a Gold rating in Sustainability Tracking Assessment, and Reporting System (STARS) 
NC State received a Gold rating as a Best Workplace for Commuters
Recognized by the Princeton Review as a Green College
NC State designated as a Bicycle Friendly University at the Gold level
2015Recognized by the Princeton Review as a Green College 
Carolina Recycling Association’s Outstanding College or University Program Award for Pizza Box Composting Project
2014University Housekeeping was recognized nationally as a Silver winner in the Green Cleaning Award for Schools and Universities
NC State Dining was the bronze recipient in the National Association of College and University Food Services’ Sustainability Awards
Award of Excellence from the Utility Savings Initiative of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Recognized by the Princeton Review as a Green College
Triangle Clean Cities Coalition Stakeholder Excellence Award for petroleum displaced (38,000 gallons)
2013NC State receives 2013 Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award 
NC State University Dining wins Food Service Director’s Grand Goldie Award for its sustainability program, My Roots are at NC State.
Recognized by the Princeton Review as a Green College
NC State received Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance
2012NC State receives 2014 national APPA Sustainability Award 
Recognized by the Princeton Review as a Green College
NC State was honored with Golden Mode awards in Employee Commuting and the Smart Commute Challenge from GoTriangle
NC State received Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance
NC State designated as a Bicycle Friendly University
2011NC State received a “B+” from the Sustainable Endowments Institute Green Report Card
2010NC State named one of the Southeast’s Top 5 Coolest Schools by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine 
NC State awarded 2010 SmithSeal of North Carolina Sustainable Business Award by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
NC State received a “B” on the Sustainable Endowments Institute Green Report Card
C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
2009NC State included in the Peterson’s Review book Green Jobs for New Economy: the Career Guide to Emerging Opportunities.
NC State received a “C+” from the Sustainable Endowments Institute Green Report Card