Protecting the environment is at the heart of NREL's mission to develop new renewable energy technologies. Workers have a responsibility to incorporate the principles of environmental stewardship and sustainability in their work activities. When planning activities and performing daily tasks, our staff considers the potential impacts to the environment:
- The amount and type of wastes generated and reduced,
- The potential release of contaminants to air, land, or water, and
- The effect activities might have on NREL's wildlife, vegetation, and other natural resources. Links to our most recent wildlife and vegetation surveys are below.
NREL's Environmental Management System integrates the components of environmental protection into the laboratory's management processes and activities. The laboratory's Sustainable NREL program works wth NREL's Environment, Safety, Health, and Quality Office to address NREL's environmental footprint — all areas of potential environmental impact.
South Table Mountain and National Wind Technology Center Sites Support Native Plants and Animals
NREL's two major sites, South Table Mountain and the National Wind Technology Center, are largely undeveloped, allowing for the preservation of habitats that support numerous species of native plants and animals. Our policy is to foster and maintain healthy and vigorous natural ecosystems in the undeveloped areas, as well as in areas adjacent to research facilities and activities.
Workers are encouraged to enjoy NREL's natural resources, but to do so with respect, minimizing impacts on soils and vegetation, and ensuring that wildlife is not harassed or harmed.
Annual Environmental Performance
Each year NREL reports on environmental compliance and performance through its Annual Environmental Performance Report. These reports contain detailed information about NREL's compliance programs, programs that support vegetation and wildlife enhancement, and a forward look to upcoming improvements.
- 2012 NREL Annual Environmental Performance Report
- 2011 NREL Annual Environmental Performance Report
- 2010 NREL Annual Environmental Performance Report
- 2009 NREL Annual Environmental Performance Report
- 2008 NREL Annual Environmental Performance Report
- 2007 NREL Annual Environmental Performance Report
Environmental Assessment and Surveys
NREL conducts environmental assessments as required by the National Environmental Policy Act(NEPA) and periodically surveys vegetation and wildlife habitat. Below you will find recent environmental assessments, supplements, and vegetation and wildlife surveys for NREL's South Table Mountain campus in Golden and the National Wind Technology Center south of Boulder.
South Table Mountain
- Notice of Public Scoping — South Table Mountain Site-Wide Environmental Assessment (November 8, 2013, through December 13, 2013)
- South Table Mountain Environmental Assessment 2003
- Supplement analysis to the final supplement-II to the Final Site-Wide Environmental Assessment of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's South Table Mountain complex, July 2011.
- Final Supplement-II to the Final Site-Wide Environmental Assessment of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's South Table Mountain Complex (DOE/EA 1440-S-II) and Finding of No Significant Impact 2009
- South Table Mountain Supplemental Environmental Assessment 2008
- South Table Mountain Three Site Development Projects Environmental Assessment 2007
Vegetation & Wildlife
- South Table Mountain Vegetation and Wildlife Survey 2011
- South Table Mountain Wildlife Survey 2005
- South Table Mountain Vegetation Survey 2002
National Wind Technology Center
Vegetation & Wildlife