UC Irvine Ranked Nation’s No. 1 University In Sustainability

For 10 consecutive years, Sierra magazine has named UC Irvine a top-10 “Cool School” for the strength of its sustainability curriculum, research, student and public engagement, and campus operations.
Campus housing and student volunteers plant various environmentally-friendly trees and ground cover in Palo Verde housing at UCI. Steve Zylius / UCI

The realities of the global climate crisis can seem overwhelming. Every day, there’s new information about how the environment and human health are being threatened. And the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic has people wondering about possible parallels.

But there are plenty of Orange County residents fighting to make positive change. We highlight that great work here—from green businesses and university researchers to volunteer groups and civil servants. Passionate locals are working together to create a sustainable future; let them inspire you to take action in ways large and small.

Certified LEED Platinum buildings (the most on any U.S. campus), including seven zero-waste facilities

80 million
Gallons of potable water conserved annually by retrofitting its central plant to use recycled water for cooling campus buildings

Sustainability awards won last year from the National Association of College and University Food Services, including the grand prize for excellence in sustainable dining

Vehicles that are powered by alternative fuels or hybrid technologies, including the first all-electric bus fleet in the nation

Improvement in energy efficiency since 2009

Read more from this cover story at orangecoast.com/sustainingoc.

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