Environment, Safety, Health, and Quality

NREL conducts research, support, and deployment activities in a manner that protects the safety and health of workers, visitors, the public, the environment, and laboratory assets.

NREL's international certifications demonstrate the laboratory's commitment to staff, the local community, and the scientific community as a world-class research institution.

Demonstrated Commitment to Safety

Safety is a core value at NREL and integrated into all activities. NREL's staff and management are committed to managing health and safety risk through the implementation of an Integrated Safety Management System. This commitment to protect people, the public, and the environment applies equally to scientists, engineers, operations support, subcontractors, and anyone doing work at NREL.

A worker applying window patterns in a building.

Reference Documents for NREL Subcontractors

View NREL Environment, Safety, and Health requirements to help plan, procure, and execute work at the lab.

Environmental Stewardship, Health, Safety, and Quality Management Policies

These policies demonstrate NREL's commitment to conducting work in a manner that protects the health and safety of workers and the public, laboratory property, and the environment.

ISO 45001 Certification

This certification demonstrates NREL's commitment to maintaining a health and safety management system that proactively identifies and manages risks while meeting health and safety compliance requirements. This achievement verifies NREL meets international best practice standards for workplace health and safety.

ISO 14001 Certification and ISO 9001 Certification

These certifications signify that NREL's activities are conducted to minimize impacts on our community and the environment. Learn more about ISO Management System Standards.

NREL continuously improves systems to meet the challenges of an ever-changing work environment. Our health and safety professionals work to anticipate changes, recognize the hazards associated with those changes, and develop effective control measures—all in an effort to provide a safe and healthful workplace for our staff.

Environmental Protection

Colorado Green Business Network Membership

NREL is a gold-level member of the Colorado Green Business Network, a voluntary network that recognizes state business demonstrating a commitment to integrate sustainability into their daily operations and work.

NREL has an Environmental Management System to carry out environmental stewardship commitments in the areas of sustainability, pollution prevention, site conservation, minimization of water and energy use, transportation, materials, education and communication, compliance, and continuous improvement. Learn more about all of NREL's environmental program areas below and in the Annual Site Environmental Report.

NREL strives to minimize air emissions, track air emissions from larger on-site sources, confirm on-site sources have required air permits, and meet federal and state air emissions and permitting requirements.

NREL focuses water quality protection on four main areas: drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and wastewater.

Responsible acquisition, use, and disposal of materials and wastes are critical to meeting our commitments to compliance, preventing pollution, and environmental stewardship.

NREL's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) program provides a mechanism to consider potential environmental impacts in decision-making processes and promotes sustainable and environmentally responsible operations. See NREL's Environmental Assessments (EA), including Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI), for more information.

Download the South Table Mountain Site-Wide Environmental Assessment 2014.

Final EA and FONSI

Download the National Wind Technology Center Site-Wide Environmental Assessment 2014 (DOE/EA-1914).

Final EA and FONSI

NREL is committed to responsible stewardship of its natural ecosystems, native wildlife and vegetation, and important cultural resources. Natural resources at the South Table Mountain and National Wind Technology Center facilities are managed appropriately to ensure research needs are met while protecting native wildlife and vegetation.

NREL's Stormwater Management program involves the planning and implementation of strategies to control the flow and quality of rainwater runoff at NREL's campuses, aiming to mitigate flooding and minimize water pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency issued NREL an MS4 permit to regulate stormwater operations within the boundaries of the NREL’s Golden, Colorado, campus.

Cover of the 2022 Annual Site Environmental Report featuring a mother owl and owlette

Read the 2022 Annual Site Environmental Report

Send feedback, questions, and requests for notification of next year's report to Rachael Boothe.