Sustainability Statement

The North Carolina Museum of Art recognizes the impact of human influence on climate change and has long been dedicated to preserving the natural environment for future generations. We are committed to combating climate change, incorporating innovative green design elements when building the iconic West Building; updating East Building; and expanding and maintaining the 164-acre Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park. We recognize the urgency to continue and expand on this imperative work, keeping sustainability top of mind in all our projects, and have included these efforts as dedicated goals in the 2020–2025 Strategic Plan.

Visitors will see our current work in the following initiatives:

Inside our galleries and office spaces:

  • LED lighting in both buildings and in the parking lots reduces power consumption and lengthens the lifespan of lights.
  • Low-flow valves on toilets/urinals reduce water consumption.
  • Flow restrictors on all sink faucets reduce water consumption.
  • Lights off, with the exception of emergency lighting, in all Museum spaces when not in use reduces power consumption.
  • Computer monitoring and management of utility usage maintain environmental conditions for art.
  • Recycling and trash can receptacles placed together inside and throughout the Museum Park and buildings increase recycling.

In the Museum Park:

  • The NCMA participates in the Invasive Species Management Plan, a national program to prevent, eradicate, and control invasive species, as well as recover ecosystems and restore other assets adversely impacted by invasive species.
  • The Museum uses a stormwater collection system for landscape irrigation and water features around Museum buildings.
  • The NCMA’s redesigned retention pond controls and cleans stormwater before it enters House Creek.
  • Rain gardens bordering the parking lots along Blue Ridge Road use native perennials and ornamental grasses to filter pollutants from stormwater runoff.
  • Park staff collects yard waste and partners with a local business to have that waste converted to mulch.

The NCMA partners locally with:

  • Bee Downtown to host an apiary in the Museum Park, supporting honeybee populations in the Triangle and harvesting honey for sale in the Museum Store and for use by food and beverage partner Catering Works.
  • NC National Wildlife Federation to donate native plant species that support local wildlife and strengthen biodiversity across the Park.
  • NC Native Plant Society to rescue native plant species from sites scheduled for development and plant them in the Park to increase biodiversity and help preserve local plant genetics.
  • Catering Works to use a variety of environmentally friendly packaging, plates, and cutlery, including coffee cups made from 90 percent plant-based renewable resources. The NCMA and Catering Works participate in CompostNow, a program that turns compost into nitrogen-rich soil redistributed into the community. The NCMA and Catering Works maintain two herb and floral gardens and work with local farms to source ingredients.

The Museum continues to refine and improve efforts to be environmentally conscious and as sustainable as possible. We are committed to continuing to be a leader in sustainable practices in the museum field and have set forth additional goals to accomplish this in the coming years.

These goals include:

  • Host a series of interdepartmental staff discussions on environmental education awareness and stewardship goal setting.
  • Adopt goals and a timeline as a core value of the NCMA.
  • Develop a plan for the Museum Park, celebrating natural habitats, unifying the Park’s zones, and preserving the campus.
  • Create a plan to restore and protect the NCMA’s stream system and natural areas.
  • Improve the Park’s circulation and visitors’ experiences with art, nature, and people, broadening the NCMA’s appeal to more diverse audiences.
  • Build climate resilience, environmental awareness, and opportunities for future artists’ projects.
  • Provide reusable water bottles for purchase in the Museum Store.
  • Recruit NC artists and artisans who are repurposing recycled materials for the Museum Store.
  • Become recognized as a member of the NC GreenTravel Initiative.
  • Establish an internal sustainability team to meet twice annually and complete an institutional environmental audit annually.
  • Review feasibility for installing EV charging stations.
  • Continue to cultivate partnerships with the City of Raleigh, Wake County, DEQ, other agencies within DNCR, and local working groups such as WakeNature.
  • Explore opportunities to develop educational programming related to environmental awareness and restoration efforts taking place in the Museum Park.
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