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Walking the Talk - Celebrating RTI’s Commitment to Sustainability

Addressing climate change and making progress towards a more sustainable future will require all of us to play a part—individuals, government, corporations, and more. RTI is uniquely positioned to have a significant impact in the fight to combat climate change and protect the planet we all call home. Our North Star goal challenges us to positively impact the wellbeing of people across the globe through science-based climate solutions. Improving the human condition drives not only the work we do through our clients, but also the responsibility to address our environmental impacts as an organization. 

RTI’s scientific and technical expertise equips us to promote sustainable practices at all levels of our operations to generate positive, real-world change. As announced in the 2023 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report, our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% from 2019 levels by 2030 and work toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The following initiatives highlight some recent wins that we’ve  accomplished in our journey to fostering sustainable practices throughout our global operations.

Parking Deck Solar Canopy Project

Construction has begun for the groundbreaking solar energy system atop our largest parking deck on our headquarter campus in North Carolina, marking the beginning of a broader deployment of renewable energy solutions across our facilities. 

  • 484 solar PV panels, totaling 13,700 square feet and covering 54 parking spaces 
  • Expected to generate 342,000 kWh of electricity annually—enough to power all of the electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on the deck and reduce Holden Building’s electricity consumption by 25%
  • Will prevent over 220,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 119 acres of US forests 
Parking deck at RTI with solar panels

Parking deck with solar panels at RTI's headquarters. 

Compost, landfill, and recycling bins
RTI waste station.

Centralized Waste Collection

Our Centralized Waste Collection program presents a positive shift for waste management at our headquarters. By replacing individual under-desk bins with centralized collection centers, we significantly reduce our consumption of single-use plastic bags. This program is coupled with the expansion of the Compost Program—as collection centers are installed across buildings, breakrooms will be equipped with new compost collection bins and waste signage designed in-house that identifies some of the most common compostable materials found used by RTI staff. 

RTI's three bee hives. The hives are colored green, red, and blue
RTI's three beehives.

RTI Apiary Expansion & Relocation

Since 2019, the RTI Apiary has been a cherished experience for RTI staff and productive contributors to our campus environment—producing more than 150 pounds of honey in the 2023 season! This spring, we welcomed another colony to the newly-constructed apiary site central to campus with easy access to plants for pollinators—like the bioretention garden and nearby rooftop garden. The three colonies, ruled by Queen Gertrude, Queen Rosalind, and now Queen Henrietta sit in the heart of main campus, where staff and visitors alike can admire the colorful hives.

RTI employees at Earth Fair table
RTI employees learning about RTI's beehives at Earth Fair.

Celebrating Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day 2024, on April 30th members of our team hosted staff at a new “Earth Fair” event on main campus, to celebrate our impact. The event featured collaborators from within RTI as well as community partners — such as representatives from our Center For Climate Solutions and Yes Solar Solutions — and connected over 200 staff to partnerships and people that are advancing our mission by acting for the environment and our planet. 

Employees were also invited to act in their daily lives by participating in the virtual 30 Days of Action for the Earth Bingo Challenge. Staff throughout RTI’s global footprint made meaningful changes throughout the month of April. 

Reflecting on our relationship with the planet and all life it sustains is embedded in the heart of the work we do. RTI’s mission to improve the human condition drives us to take meaningful action and be mindful of our holistic impact not only on days of observance like Earth Day, but every day. 

Disclaimer: This piece was written by Haley Hall (Sustainability Coordinator ) to share perspectives on a topic of interest. Expression of opinions within are those of the author or authors.