City of Charlotte announces First Chief Sustainability & Resiliency Officer to Continue Focus on Achieving Sustainability Goals
Cory Burkarth
Chief Sustainability & Resiliency Officer

CHARLOTTE (Monday, Dec. 14) – The City of Charlotte on Monday announced that Sarah Hazel will be the City’s first Chief Sustainability & Resiliency Officer and will be overseeing the City of Charlotte’s Office of Sustainability & Resiliency.

“Sarah has been filling this role, in addition to her other roles, for some time and has become not just a leader for our organization, but a leader for the entire community and a leader in this field,” City Manager Marcus D. Jones said. “What she has accomplished has been nothing short of remarkable and I’m excited for our City and our community that Sarah will be formally leading this work for all of us.”

The City of Charlotte recognizes that improving the environment and reducing our carbon footprint is fundamentally important to quality of life and essential to maintaining a vibrant economy and through sustainability efforts has goals to:

  • Become a model environmental community in how it manages energy, air, water and waste;

  • Lead by example by practicing environmental stewardship in City operations and facilities as guided through the Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP);

  • Seek and support collaborative and regional solutions to environmental problems; and

  • Analyzing data and applying technologies to reach our environmental goals.

Over the past several years the City has made significant progress on these goals, thanks in large part to Hazel’s involvement and collaborative leadership, building a culture of commitment to sustainability. A few highlights include:

  • Two new sustainable fleet policies that lead the City to be recognized as a national leader with the Sustainable & Resilient Fleet Policy

  • Council approving $1M investment in EV charging infrastructure to create 90 chargers at city-owned facilities and $2M in rooftop solar on city buildings

  • Winning a grant for to Low or No Emissions Grant and pursuing an E bus partnership with Duke Energy for a transition to an electric fleet

  • The City-Council approved Green Source Advantage program that projects a $2M savings generated by solar and moves the City 24 percent closer to the zero-carbon energy goal

  • Launched the Renewable Energy and Efficiency Workforce Training (RENEW)

“Sarah has been a critical force behind Charlotte’s ambitious and smart climate action during her time as Interim Director of the Office of Sustainability, including in partnership with the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge” said Irene Nielson, City Strategist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.  “Sarah is deftly leading critical policy and stakeholder work and pacing Charlotte toward reaching it’s 2030 energy goals. We are thrilled to continue to work with Sarah, City Manager Jones, Mayor Lyles, and our partners at the City of Charlotte.”

Hazel has worked in the Charlotte City Manager's Office for six years, and for the past four years as an assistant to the City Manager, where she’s worked on special projects, strategic initiatives, and policy and program development. Prior to her work with the City of Charlotte, she spent seven years running national campaigns for a mission-based consulting firm, specializing in grassroots fundraising and advocacy, including a variety of national environmental organizations. Hazel expanded Grassroots Campaigns Inc.'s operations across 12 states. Because of her belief that government can be transformative, she turned her focus to a career in public service. She received a bachelor’s degree in Government and English from Lafayette College and her master’s degree in public administration from UNC Chapel Hill.