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News Release: NREL Earns Federal Award for Sustainable IT Practices

September 19, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has earned a 2011 Platinum-level Award from the Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC) recognizing NREL’s efforts to help the federal government improve its sustainable practices.

NREL achieved the award by tracking lifecycle data for electronic equipment, retiring old CRT monitors and replacing them with LCD units, ensuring the environmentally friendly disposal of electronics, and reviewing and revising NREL's policies to make the lab’s information technology environment more energy efficient.

In addition, NREL drafted a case study on the new Research Support Facility’s (RSF) desktop computing and data center policies. The study documented a 75 percent decline in NREL's overall power consumption at the user’s desktop, and a drop to an average 1.16 PUE (power usage effectiveness), or less, in RSF data center.

“NREL’s Sustainability Program has been in place for more than a decade and we strive to be a leader when it comes to sustainability practices,” NREL Director of Sustainability Frank Rukavina said. “NREL continues to look for ways to decrease our environmental footprint while conducting world class renewable energy and energy efficiency research.”

This is the first time a Platinum-level FEC award has been available. In past years, NREL’s efforts have garnered two gold awards and one silver award. NREL will receive this year’s award at EPA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., during Pollution Prevention Week (Sept, 19-23). The Federal Electronics Challenge is managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.


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—Heather Lammers