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Aerial photo of the South Table Mountain Campus at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leader in sustainability. The lab's sustainability practices are fully integrated into the campus and operations through resource optimization and innovative and high-performance buildings that showcase state-of-the-art energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. NREL's sustainability model can be replicated by homeowners, universities, industry, and government agencies.

At NREL, sustainability encompasses environmental stewardship, economic viability, and public responsibility. At NREL's two campuses—South Table Mountain and the National Wind Technology Center—this translates to:

  • Optimizing and managing natural resources to help sustain the environment
  • Reducing our environmental footprint by constructing and monitoring the performance of our green buildings and providing alternative working and commuting programs for staff
  • Supporting the community by stimulating the local economy, managing NREL's environmental impacts, and creating educational programs.

As one of Colorado's foremost scientific institutions, NREL embraces the best in energy and ecological conservation practices, setting the standard for the wise use of natural resources.

Sustainability Recognition and Awards

NREL has received many awards and recognition for its environmental and sustainability leadership and accomplishments, including:

  • The prestigious 2011 GreenGov Presidential Award, achieved for the Research Support Facility's green data center;
  • Two 2011 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) E-Star Awards for the laboratory's overall sustainability planning and for its waste reduction and laboratory-wide composting program performance;
  • Two Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC) Platinum-level Awards, recognizing NREL's actions to help the federal government improve its sustainable practices; and
  • A 2012 U.S. DOE Sustainability award for our comprehensive energy management plan.

Visit the Awards and Honors Web page and the Research Support Facility Web page to see NREL's sustainability and environmental awards.

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Site Sustainability Plan FY 2015 (PDF 5.1 MB) Annual Sustainability Report (PDF 9.58 MB)