This past year, UC Irvine has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the goals outlined in the UC Sustainable Practices Policy, as evident in its perseverance to achieve sustainable progress in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
The construction and completion of two new student housing projects highlight UCI’s creativity and innovation in green building design. Plaza Verde Student Apartments opened to over 1,400 students in fall 2019 and is the campus’s first all-electric student housing project, eliminating the need for natural gas by utilizing heat pump water heaters and an electric outdoor grill system. The Middle Earth Towers house 500 first-year students in a project with LEED Platinum certification that incorporates features such as a 50-kilowatt photovoltaic system, natural ventilation and stormwater treatment systems that include green roofs.
UCI also participated in the procurement of electricity for direct access accounts through the UC Power Program, which is 100% carbon-free. Additionally, in a collaborative greenhouse research project, 7,500 square feet of turfgrass was replaced with native and nonnative drought-tolerant plants, saving approximately 75,000 gallons of water per year.
As the campus shifted to remote learning and work due to the escalating global pandemic, sustainability champions across campus quickly adapted to developing virtual tools and resources. The Sustainability Spot, a student-run blog, serves as an outlet for sharing research, experiences and hopes for the future. The Sustainability Corner was created to provide a behind-the-scenes look into campus operations and to empower greater sustainable behavior while working remotely or on campus. The Sustainability Resource Center built a Virtual Earth Week Platform, showcasing a breadth of programs and opportunities around the world, receiving over 600 visits throughout the week.
Orange County Health Equity Community-Academic Partnership with UC Irvine Trains Community Members to Conduct Contact Tracing
The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated long-standing social, economic and political inequities in the U.S., with disproportionate morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 in low-income communities of color. In May 2020, the Orange County Health Equity COVID-19 Community-Academic Partnership was formed to assert a health equity approach to mitigating and eliminating the effects of COVID-19. Over the […]
The UCI FRESH Basic Needs Hub is dedicated to supporting students with basic food and housing security through the provision of resources, tools and accessibility. Deemed an essential service, FRESH has continuously demonstrated resilience and its commitment to students during the COVID-19 pandemic. FRESH quickly adapted its programs and resources during the pandemic to align […]
CLIMATE PROTECTION – EMISSIONS
ENERGY – RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY GENERATION
ENERGY USE INTENSITY (EUI)
UC Irvine continued to make strides in its efforts to use alternative transportation methods and support the use of electric vehicles in 2020.
of UCI employees are utilizing alternative commuting methods
EV charging stations at this location for 2019-2020
of light-duty vehicles acquired in 2020 were electric (zero-emission) and hybrid vehicles
ZERO WASTE – GENERATED
ZERO WASTE – DIVERTED
UC Irvine continues to set ambitious goals, with a goal for 2030 of 25% spend on sustainable food and beverages.
total spend on food and beverages
of food and beverage purchases met sustainability criteria in fiscal year 2019-20
green spend on indoor office furniture
on cleaning supplies
green spend on electronics
UC Irvine’s goals for procurement include 25% green spend on electronics and indoor office furniture, and 75% green spend on cleaning supplies.
UC Irvine received 1 Platinum LEED certification in 2020.
18 Platinum, 12 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 CertifiedTotal number of LEED certifications
Sustainable Building & Laboratory Operations
total assessed research labs
UC Irvine has met the goal of assessing three labs.