Sustainability @ UNC advances the triple bottom line of environmental quality, economic vitality, and societal well-being. The goal is to catalyze the development and implementation of sustainable policies, practices, curricula, and behaviors for all members of the University community.


Organized efforts to institutionalize sustainability at UNC began in 1999, as two converging factors led to the formation of the Sustainability Coalition. Executive Order 156 from then-governor Jim Hunt called on all state agencies to adopt more sustainable practices. Simultaneously, students requested that the university community become more proactive on environmental issues. After two years of volunteer efforts, the university became the first in the state to hire a full-time Sustainability Coordinator. Cynthia Pollock Shea, LEED Accredited Professional, was hired in 2001 and in 2003 the department grew to include an Energy Conservation Manager and administrative assistant. Sustainability @ UNC is currently involved in a number of initiatives, including the development and implementation of a Sustainability Plan, as well as ongoing efforts to engage and educate the campus community.

Departmental Association

Sustainability @ UNC is part of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Finance and Operations Division. The Sustainability Advisory Committee is sponsored by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations.


Cindy Shea, Director

Cindy Shea, DirectorCindy launched the Sustainability Office in April 2001. She has researched, analyzed, written about, and communicated sustainability themes at international research institutes (Worldwatch and the International Institute for Sustainable Development) and worked as a foreign correspondent, web scribe, and community organizer. She holds degrees in Economics, International Relations, and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a LEED AP.

Amy Armbruster, Research and Outreach Manager

Amy Armbruster, Research and Outreach ManagerAmy Armbruster joined the Sustainability Office in September 2017. She has worked as an environmental educator leading canoe trips on the Hudson River, a recycling education coordinator, teaching the UNC-Greensboro community about recycling, and a transportation demand management coordinator, helping people take the bus, ride their bikes or carpool to work. Amy comes to us from the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) where she worked as that organization’s Communications Coordinator. She has a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies and a Masters in Applied Geography.


Hope Gattis, Three Zeros Planning Intern

Hope Gattis, Sustainability InternHope Gattis joined the sustainability team during the summer of 2017. She is majoring in Environmental Science and Public Policy. She enjoys hiking and cooking vegetarian meals. Hope practices sustainability by thrift shopping and composting in her dorm room.

Olivia Corriere, Three Zeros Planning Intern

Olivia CorriereOlivia Corriere began working with the Three Zeros Environmental Initiative during the 2018 spring semester. She is an undergraduate from Ann Arbor, Michigan studying environmental sustainability, geography, and information systems. Her favorite cities are Toronto, Canada and Freiburg, Germany. In her free time, Olivia enjoys running, compiling music playlists, and cooking with friends and family.

Molly Auten, EcoReps Coordinator

Molly AutenMolly began working with the Three Zeros Environmental Initiative during the spring semester of 2018. She is an Environmental Studies major with a minor in Urban Studies and Planning. Molly enjoys long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and sarcasm. She practices sustainability by taking the bus, recycling, and thrift shopping.

Emily Hightower, Three Zeros Planning Intern

Emily Hightower, EcoReps CoordinatorEmily joined the sustainability team at UNC during the summer of 2016. She recently graduated with a degree in Biology and Economics. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing with her dogs, and listening to music. Her green tip is to conserve energy by washing your clothes in cold water.

Taylor Franklin, EcoReps Coordinator

Taylor Franklin, EcoReps CoordinatorTaylor has been an EcoRep since Fall of 2015. She is majoring in Environmental Health Sciences at the Gillings School of Global Public Health with a minor in Anthropology Taylor is also involved on campus with Relay for Life at UNC. Her sustainability tip is to buy things with minimal packaging or use reusable containers, like her favorite cloth snack bags!

Henderson Beck, Graphic Design Intern

Henderson BeckHenderson Beck began working with the Three Zeros Environmental Initiative during the summer of 2018. He is an undergraduate studying Studio Art, Sustainability. and Urban Studies and Planning. He enjoys working out, exploring new cities, and watching vine compilations. Henderson practices sustainability by composting, using his favorite reusable water bottle, and thrift shopping.