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HP converts Boise campus to native plants to save water, energy

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HP’s Boise campus. The company worked with several nonprofit groups and an Idaho landscaping architecture company to convert its landscaping to native plants that use less water and require less landscape work. Photo courtesy of Stack Rock Group.

HP Inc., a technology company with a 200-acre campus in northwest Boise, has converted its landscaping to native grasses that save water and energy and attract pollinators.

For its work on its Idaho campus, HP was awarded a gold rating under the Green Business Certification Inc. Sustainable SITES Initiative rating system. The company said the project, which will reach full maturity by summer 2019, means the campus now saves 82,900 cubic meters of water annually, and has reduced emissions by 90 percent. It also cuts landscaping costs by nearly 50 percent, the company said in a prepared statement.

HP worked with the Idaho landscaping architecture company Stack Rock Group and other local and national groups including the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden.

The company’s investment in the landscaping project will be paid off in reduced costs within two and a half years, said Krisjan Hiner, co-founder of Stack Rock Group.

The SITES rating system provides best practices and benchmarks projects against performance criteria. SITES-certified projects are better able to withstand and recover from floods, droughts, wildfires and other catastrophic events. Projects can help reduce water and energy demand, improve air quality and promote human health and wellbeing, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Corporate headquarters, national and city parks, academic campuses and private homes have earned the certification.

“A green environment extends beyond the four walls of a building,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council and GBCI.

The HP campus includes 40 acres of traditional turf, four acres of planters, 30 areas of open field, 36 acres of farmland, 3.38 acres of ponds and 87.19 acres of hardscape with about 20 acres of mature trees on site, Hiner said. HP Inc. still farms 36 acres of the site, a former farm, for local livestock feed.

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