The University is currently operating under Reduced Campus Services and Operations due to COVID-19

A sustainable Carolina

Three Zeros Environmental Initiative

Launched in the fall of 2016 by Chancellor Carol L. Folt, the Three Zeros Environmental Initiative moves the campus toward water neutrality, zero waste and greenhouse gas neutrality. Implementing the Three Zeros goals will improve operational efficiency, generate cost savings and will create a living-learning laboratory for students, faculty and staff to study and advance the most recent developments in sustainability policy and technology.

Three Zeros includes everything from individual behaviors to world-changing research and collaborations.

Learn more about the Three Zeros Initiative

  • 200,000pounds of aluminum from Kenan Stadium bleachers recycled
  • 18,000trees saved by recycling paper
  • 8,388tons of food waste saved from landfills since 2000
  • 1,060tons of paper recycled last year
  • 144,000gallons of water saved by Carolina Dining Services by removing trays from dining halls
  • 706pounds of aluminum from Kenan Stadium bleachers recycled

We can all have a hand in sustainable practices. Whether it is using less air conditioning in the summer or irrigating fields with non-potable water, it takes students, faculty, staff and the administration working together to accomplish the Three Zeros goals.

Brad Ives, associate vice chancellor for Campus Enterprises

Brad Ives stands next to a bike.

Zero waste move-in

As students returned to campus at the start of the school year, they unpacked carloads of clothes, bedding and dorm supplies. The move in created literally tons of waste.

A team from the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling’s Student Move-in program were at the residence halls to sort the materials that were thrown out to make sure cardboard, Styrofoam and other recyclables didn’t make it into a landfill.

Learn more about the Student Move-in program


Two men recycle cardboard.

Staying green