Sustainability at the North Carolina Botanical Garden

As a conservation garden, sustainability is core to our mission at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. You’ll find environmentally conscientious practices throughout the Garden, including energy- and water-efficient buildings, native plant restoration, green events, and encouraging healthy lifestyles among our staff, members, visitors, and volunteers. 

Sustainable Gardening

At the Garden, we maintain beautiful gardens that enhance our ecosystems. Native plants have evolved naturally in this region, and therefore have adapted to thrive in this environment. These plants can survive droughts, floods, and help with reducing stormwater runoff during heavy rains. The Garden also works with recovering rare plants and maintains a seed bank of common and rare plants to ensure the resiliency of our local ecosystems.

Green Buildings & Landscapes

The Allen Education Center at the North Carolina Botanical Garden is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certified building. Equipped with photovoltaic panels, eight cisterns for rainwater collection, geothermal wells, and a reclaimed water line, the building efficiently runs on sustainable energy and water conservation methods. Outside of the building, the Garden uses a biodiverse set of native plants throughout the displays to ensure a healthy ecosystem.

Health & Wellness

Implementing initiatives and programs at the Garden that encourage wellness and mindfulness helps strengthen mental and physical health. The Garden encourages the utilization of natural daylight, accessible walking paths and breezeways, and operable windows to improve productivity and mental health in the workplace. There are also different initiatives in place for both the public and staff that stress the importance of health and wellness. The Garden has a wellness initiative that includes programs such as:

  • Staff wellness yoga initiative
  • Nature walks that area open to the public
  • Nature art programs for families & adults

Our Practices

At the Garden, we implement strategies every day in the workplace that ensure economic, ecological, and social efficiency. The Garden has a Sustainability Committee with representation from all departments that meets regularly to discuss opportunities to improve sustainable initiatives in the public-facing side of the Garden and for back-of-house operations. As an event venue, the Garden also requires that all events have a minimal impact on our environment. These requirements include decoration restrictions, requirement of all serviceware to be compostable or reusable, and no single-use disposable materials are allowed on the premises. In addition, the Garden holds many certifications and memberships that display our sustainable practices.


View the photo album of NCBG sustainable features.


U.S. Green Building Council Leed Platinum logo

UNC Three Zeros logo

NC Green Travel logo

NC Farm to Fork logo


Garden Earns

Advanced Conservation Practitioner Accreditation

BGCI Conservation Practitioner graphicBGCI Advanced Conservation Practitioner graphicBotanic Gardens Conservation International recognizes botanic gardens with a focus on conservation actions that support local, national or global conservation goals with accreditation as an Advanced Conservation Practitioner. BGCI accreditation ensures that gardens adhere to international standards, results in tangible benefits for participating gardens – such as recognition, peer review, creating standards for excellence, and funding – and acts as a motivator for botanic garden leadership.