Three Zeros InitiativeThree Zeros Initiative

Three Zeros Initiative

Launched in the Fall of 2016 by Chancellor Folt, the Three Zeros Initiative moves the campus toward water neutrality, zero waste, and greenhouse gas neutrality.

Goals of the Three Zeros

Water Neutrality

Water Conservation


  • Ensure sustainability of the water supply
  • Conserve drinking water and increase non-potable, reclaimed water usage

Zero Waste to Landfills



  • Maximize recycling and reuse
  • Minimize materials brought onto campus

Greenhouse Gas Neutrality



  • Reduce hydrocarbons
  • Switch to renewables

Three Zeros News

Battle Grove restoration

Battle Grove a Model for Living-Learning Lab

February 22, 2017

Dr. Geoffrey Bell wanted a way for students in his fall 2016 Restoration Ecology class to link concepts in ecosystem restoration with the practical application of research techniques they were learning. Sally Hoyt wanted to … Continued

Three Zeros Initiative

Three Zeros Student Internship

February 6, 2017

Job Title: Three Zeros Initiative Student Representative Reports to: Brad Ives, Chief Sustainability Officer; Tait Chandler, EHS Technician Job purpose: The Three Zeros Initiative Student Representative is tasked with promoting and advancing the Initiative at … Continued


Carolina Ranks No. 11 in 2016 GreenMetric Sustainable Campus Survey

January 26, 2017

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranked No. 11 in this year’s Universitas Indonesia Green Metric World University Ranking. The annual GreenMetric Ranking ranks campus sustainability worldwide. This year’s survey was the largest … Continued

How Can You Help?

  • Turn off water when brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Take less than 5 minute showers
  • Report all leaks by filling out a maintenance request
  • Use reusable grocery bags and water bottles
  • Recycle all plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper & #2, #4, #5 plastic tubs
  • Compost when possible
  • Turn off lights
  • Unplug appliances not in use
  • Use colder water for showers and washing clothes

Getting Involved

  • Take a class related to sustainability topics
  • Take a tour to learn more about infrastructure
  • Subscribe to the sustainability listserv for information and resources

Three Zeros Initiative

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Three Zeros Initiative Advisory Board will use its individual and collective experience, expertise and connections to help vet and suggest holistic solutions for UNC-Chapel Hill, viable in the next 5-10 years to each of the following charges:

  1. Provide feedback on how UNC-Chapel Hill will realistically meet its power, steam and chilled water needs in the future using the most cost-effective, community-acceptable and technologically-sound solutions available, with a goal of carbon neutrality.
  2. Provide feedback on the best strategies for UNC-Chapel Hill to reduce as much waste heading to landfills as technically and financially possible, with a goal of 95% diversion rate.
  3. Provide feedback on how UNC-Chapel Hill should economically use, capture and treat water in a way that minimizes the use of potable water and has no net flow into or out of the local watershed, or excess burden on the OWASA system.

The Advisory Board will advise within the context of past sustainability efforts on campus, striving for continuity but not redundancy. The Board will always consider UNC’s complex internal operations when making recommendations, with attention paid to who will manage the program and how will it be paid for.

Alan Daeke
Director, Utilities and Engineering Services, Facilities Operations Unit, North Carolina State University

Pat Davis
Former Sustainability Manager, Orange Water and Sewer Authority

Molly Diggins
State Director, Sierra Club’s North Carolina Chapter

Donald Hornstein
Aubrey L. Brooks Professor of Law, UNC Law School

Steve Jones
Professor of Organizational Management, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

James Y. (Jim) Kerr II
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Southern Company

Julian Prosser
Retired Assistant City Manager, City of Raleigh

Blair Pollock
Solid Waste Planner, Orange County

Vikram Rao
Executive Director, Research Triangle Energy Consortium

Anita Simha
UNC-Chapel Hill Class of 2017

Paula Sims
Consultant/Professor of the Practice, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Ivan Urlaub
Executive Director, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association