Raleigh Sustainability Initiatives

Raleigh, NC (June 1, 2008)- The City of Raleigh is committed to becoming a leading sustainable city- economically, environmentally, and socially. In June 2008, the City Council adopted its mission statement, which included principles that articulated its commitment to sustainability. Further demonstrating its commitment, the city is making changes to its budgeting practices to reflect its goals for sustainability.


The budget process is an integrated part of sustainability. Capital and operating expenses are to be managed and measured using principles tied to the city’s sustainability objectives.
For example, the city has a fossil fuel reduction policy. In order to support this objective, the city is shifting from tracking expenditures for fuel to a budget based on gallons of fuel consumed. The result re-directs the focus from fluctuating fuel prices to managing overall consumption. Another example is use of ‘total cost of ownership’ and ‘life cycle cost analyses’ rather than solely using first time costs to evaluate the merit of investments over the life of the equipment, building, or other assets.
Budgeting policies can have a significant effect on environmental stewardship, economic strength, and social equity in our community. The decisions the City makes about the budget affect what it buys, how it builds, and how it chooses to operate. One way to integrate sustainability principles into the budget process is developing and implementing a sustainability purchasing policy.
City staff is drafting a policy that prioritizes multiple attributes including the total cost of ownership, water and energy efficiency, product performance and durability, waste disposal practices, and transportation impacts. A sustainability purchasing policy supports re-investing in the community and boosting local employment.
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Raleigh Sustainability Initiatives