In 2015, the result of our interior and exterior projects was an overall decrease in water use like-for-like by 8.9%, an impressive achievement, bringing our total reduction from 2012 levels to 10%. While we executed a variety of water-saving projects, we believe this large reduction was largely driven by legislation restricting outdoor watering as a result of the drought. Completed a major turf removal project in Long Beach that resulted in a savings of over 3 million gallons from 2014 levels, a 13% reduction in campus consumption overall. We also completed a major irrigation retrofit in 11 San Diego buildings, resulting in another 3 million gallon annual savings and an 18% reduction in overall consumption. Our reclaimed water infrastructure saves nearly 22.3 million gallons of potable water annually.
Recycling and Composting
We achieved an office waste diversion rate of 54% in 2015, a 3% increase from 2014 levels. Waste diversion is waste that is recycled or composted.
The high performance of our green cleaning program was verified via the LEED for Existing Buildings Volume Prototype certification process. The cleaning products we use meet the relevant LEED environment standard, either GreenSeal or the California Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) limit. Our vacuums achieve the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval, and we use microfiber cloths and rags to capture additional dirt to improve air quality. In 2015, we have expanded our use of aqueous ozone to 11 buildings in San Diego, which eliminates the need to use most cleaning chemicals.
Janitors are the eyes and ears of a building, and have the ability to report energy and water waste as well as noncompliance with recycling practices, but janitors are not a population that is typically included in sustainability discussions. The US Green Building Council Los Angeles Chapter (USGBC-LA), Building Skills Partnership (BSP), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles (BOMA-GLA) created a Green Janitor Education program to provide training on sustainability topics like vampire power, turning off lights, and reporting leaks. We piloted this training in our 800,000 square foot Long Beach campus, and the program was so popular and successful that we scaled it to our entire Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego portfolios, over 4.9 million square feet, or 40% of our portfolio and 88 total janitors. Janitors reported not only implementing enhanced sustainability practices at work, but also bringing those practices, like making sure to turn off unneeded lights, home as well.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
We support the mainstream adoption of electric cars, so we have been expanding our network of electric vehicle charging stations. We added an additional 17stations in 2015, for a portfolio total of 52 stations. 2015 EV charging highlights include: 646 unique users, 45.7 tons of CO2 saved, 12,394 gallons of gasoline saved and EV charging stations installed at every new development project.