Leading the Green Movement
Many Orange County companies have altered business operations and practices to include new environmental sustainable practices, not only because of recent state and federal legislation, but also because efficient business practices increasingly make good business sense.
According to Next 10’s 2012 Many Shades of Green report, from 1995 to 2010, Orange County’s green employment increased by 62%, adding 6,900 jobs. This is compared to the state’s green employment growth of 53% as well as Orange County’s overall job growth (23%) for the same period.
Orange County’s largest sectors for green employment include:
- Air and Environment
- Energy Generation
- Energy Efficiency
- Water and Wastewater
- Recycling and Waste
Although relatively small, green industries such as Advanced Materials and Manufacturing have experienced high growth, with employment more than doubling since 1995.
Helping to drive growth in Orange County’s Green Economy are companies such as SunPower, an international leader in the design, manufacturing and delivery of solar technologies.
Another example of Orange County’s role as a leader in the green economy is the Cushman & Wakefield 2011 Green Building Opportunity Index. This report, which provides weighted comparisons of top U.S. office markets on the basis of both real estate fundamentals and green investment considerations, ranked Orange County as one of the top 15 markets in the nation.
Highlighting Orange County’s burgeoning Green Economy was the 2013 Solar Decathlon and XPO which was held at the Orange County Great Park. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon challenges international collegiate teams to design and build solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive while promoting the education and economic benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency. 2013 marked the first time that the Solar Decathlon was held outside of Washington D.C.