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Sustainability

NREL is a leader in sustainability. Our goal is to minimize the use of energy, materials, and water while carrying out the laboratory's mission of clean energy research.

Energy and Water

NREL strives to minimize the environmental, economic, and social impacts of doing business. We embrace the best in energy, water, and ecological conservation practices, setting the standard for the responsible use of natural resources. Learn more.


Environment

NREL sustainability programs protect and enhance our environment through greenhouse gas reduction, waste reduction and pollution prevention, and green purchasing. Learn more.


Sustainable and Net Zero Energy Buildings

High-performance buildings across NREL's South Table Mountain campus, like the net zero energy Research Support Facility, incorporate a number of state-of-the art energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, making them models for sustainability. Learn more.


Transportation

NREL's highly replicable transportation infrastructure and programs significantly reduce petroleum use campus-wide via alternative fuel fleet vehicles, increased staff use of alternative transportation, telecommuting, and onsite shuttles. Learn more.

Employees reduce mobile greenhouse gas emissions generated from commuting to work by biking to work instead.

Sustainability Culture

NREL has a strong sustainability culture where employees actively work to help achieve goals like reducing mobile emissions by participating in alternative work schedules and using alternative modes of transportation. Employees also participate in a near-zero-waste program, which increases the materials reused, recycled, and composted. In addition, staff provide new sustainability ideas and support events like Bike to Work Day and Earth Week.

NREL proactively pursues sustainability in all its operations to meet the laboratory's environmental stewardship goals. The laboratory is also charged with providing leadership within the U.S. Department of Energy complex to achieve energy and environmental goals as described in Executive Order 13693.

NREL’s rigorous sustainability policies and energy and water efficiency policy:

  • Support an environmental management system that fully integrates sustainability, green purchasing, and a recycling and composting program
  • Help meet and exceed greenhouse gas emission reduction goals
  • Increase the use of alternative-fueled fleet vehicles and reduce petroleum consumption
  • Help offset the laboratory's environmental footprint via purchasing renewable energy and renewable energy certificates
  • Facilitate the construction of sustainable buildings
  • Reduce energy and water use
  • Facilitate sharing the benefits of sustainability with the community.