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Cover Story
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The Irvine Co.

2010 Green Team, continued ...Published: June 01, 2010

Irvine • irvinecompany.com
Founded: 1864 | Chairman: Donald Bren | Chief Green Officer: Robyn Uptegraff

The Irvine Co. began crafting and implementing its environmental initiatives long before anyone had even coined the terms “smart growth” and “compact development.” Its conservation programs date back to the 1960s, when the company drafted its master plan for developing the Irvine Ranch’s land holdings, giving careful consideration to striking a balance between building the new communities required to sustain a growing region and preserving precious natural resources, including the swaths of open space, ecosystems, watersheds and ridgelines that remain thriving habitats for wildlife today. And the use of reclaimed water has been a core part of the ranch’s environmental legacy since 1967. Those recycling efforts, when combined with conservation, save more than 35,000 acre-feet of potable water a year. Other programs are equally impressive. Over the last three years, for example, the Irvine Co. has retrofitted more than 1,500 plumbing fixtures, 1,200 faucet aerators and 5,000 irrigation fixtures with high-efficiency models, resulting in an annual savings of 34 million gallons of water. The company plans to continue the Irvine retrofit program, which has an additional savings potential of 50 million gallons annually. All tallied, you’re looking at a water savings of about 85 million gallons a year. In addition, all of the new homes built in Irvine are Build It Green-certified, incorporating energy- and resource-efficient building practices into the design of new home developments. And 100 percent of the Irvine Co.’s high-rise buildings in Orange County are Energy Star certified.

“It is important for everyone to be environmentally conscious, as concerns over issues such as air quality, water conservation, urban runoff, greenhouse gas emissions and open space preservation have intensified through the decades. That is certainly the reason we have served as a leader in pioneering sustainable initiatives for more than a century.”
– Robyn Uptegraff, Senior Vice President of Environmental Affairs for the Irvine Co.

OC METRO'S 2010 GREEN TEAM