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.

An image of a worker applying window patterns at the ESIF.

Environment, Safety, and Health

Through our Environmental Stewardship and Safety, Health, and Security policies, NREL commits to conducting work in a manner that protects the health and safety of workers and the public, laboratory property, and the environment. View the Environmental Stewardship, Health, Safety, and Quality Management policies.

An NREL scientist in the TPDU.

ISO 45001 Certified

In 2020, NREL achieved ISO 45001 certification. This certification demonstrates demonstrates NREL's commitment to 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.

An image of deer around solar panels.

ISO 14001 Certified

In 2011, NREL achieved ISO 14001 (environment) and ISO 9001 (quality - limited scope) certifications. We've maintained those prestigious certifications ever since, signifying the laboratory’s activities are conducted to minimize impacts on our community and the environment. Learn more about ISO Management System Standards.

Safety Culture

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.

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

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.

Environment, Safety, Health, and Quality reference documents for NREL subcontractors.
Cover of the 2021 Annual Site Environmental Report

Read the 2021 Annual Site Environmental Report

Send feedback and questions, and request notification of next year's report, to Rachael.Boothe@nrel.gov.