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Greater Richmond and companies that call the area home have made great strides in sustainability efforts. The region has proven that it is not just great for business, but it is also environmentally friendly. Companies are being attracted by like-minded sustainable firms as well as a supportive state government.

Virginia ranks 11th for solar energy by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) and it is 5th for solar energy growth projections over the next five years, expected to increase to more than 5,800MW of energy.

4,285

acres of solar panels in the region

265MW

total solar energy used in the region

5.2GW

projected offshore wind for Virginia

Solar + Wind Energy

Suppliers have flocked to Virginia to be closer to Dominion Energy’s Richmond headquarters.

Already ranked among utilities with the biggest solar portfolios, Dominion is aggressively striving for a 55 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

Dominion has also brokered beneficial solar deals with high-capacity electric users along the way. Greater Richmond’s Meta data center campus required 100 percent renewable energy via new solar power plants from Dominion as part of the social media company’s attraction deal.

The Fortune 500 company also plans to build a 180 wind-turbine farm 27 miles off the coast of Virginia. When completed in 2026, the wind farm is expected to power 660,000 homes.

24%

Greater Richmond home to a quarter of solar sites in the state

100%

renewable energy used at Meta’s data center facilities

58.1%

recycling rate from the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority

Corporate Sustainability

Many of Greater Richmond’s corporate citizens have agricultural or tree-reliant business models that have created or adapted to sustainable product lines. Several regional and corporate headquarters have adopted LEED building certifications including CarMax, Costar, Sabra Dipping and McKesson-Medical Surgical.

Greater Richmond is also home to companies that utilize innovative solutions for sustainable products. Teravive and Temperpack have revolutionized their products using plant-based plastics and sustainable packaging, respectively. Packaging companies such as WestRock and Cascades are leveraging recycled substrate for their products.

Campus Sustainability

One of the largest universities in the state, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), teamed with a community-engaged research project to plant 70 trees along its urban campus in downtown Richmond. The trees will offset VCU’s carbon footprint — representing one piece of the university’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The university’s ultimate goal is reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

Across town at the University of Richmond (UR), the private university built a 20-megawatt solar energy facility — making it the first college or university in the Southeast — to match 100 percent of its electricity needs with solar energy. University of Richmond has landed on the Princeton Review’s annual Guide to Green Colleges year-after-year.

100%

of University of Richmond’s electric needs are met with a 20MW solar facility

100

tons of waste the University of Richmond composts annually

70

trees planted on Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus