Employees at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are doing their part to reinforce the message of Earth Day and "walking the talk" by reducing their impact on the environment at work through the Laboratory's "Sustainable NREL" program.
Golden, Colo., April 18, 2003 - Employees at the U.S. Department of Energy's
reinforce the message of Earth Day and "walking the talk" by reducing their
impact on the environment at work through the Laboratory's "Sustainable
"Our mission has always focused on a sustainable energy future for our
nation and the world," said Bob Westby, leader of the Sustainable NREL
program. "Sustainability at NREL, in the sense of an organization and its
operations, is the simultaneous and balanced pursuit of economic viability,
environmental stewardship and public responsibility over the long-term
through appropriate investment decisions and operating practices. "
NREL is committed to, among other things, reducing energy use in its
building operations, designing energy efficient and environmentally
sensitive new buildings, cutting water consumption, decreasing greenhouse
gas emissions, reducing the impact of local NREL travel on the environment,
using less fossil-based fuel for local operations, and creating less waste
by reducing, reusing and recycling materials for Laboratory operations.
During the past year, Sustainable NREL made impressive progress toward
* Undertaking an initiative to develop a 25-year site development
plan, which will balance development requirements with NREL's mission
objectives of corporate energy, environmental and economic responsibility.
* Establishing a greenhouse gas emissions baseline and a target of
reducing those emissions by 10 percent by 2005. In 2002, NREL was the first
federal facility member of the Environmental Protection Agency's Climate
Leaders partnership to be publicly recognized for its leadership in area of
establishing greenhouse gas reduction goals.
* Installing water-use reduction measures including low-flow toilets,
waterless urinals and low-flow faucets and showerheads at all of its
facilities, cutting water consumption by 16 percent.
* Purchasing 10 percent of its electricity from Windsource, the
largest customer-driven wind energy program in the country.
* Reducing the Laboratory's use of petroleum-based fuel to less than
500 gallons a year. Twenty of NREL's 48-vehicle fleet are alternative fuel
Several of NREL's buildings, including the Thermal Test Facility (TTF) and
Solar Energy Research Facility (SERF) are models of energy efficiency. The
SERF's annual energy costs are 40 percent below that of a similar building
designed to meet federal energy standards, and the TTF operates on a
significant 63 percent less energy than a building designed to meet the
Federal Energy Code.
NREL's Visitors Center highlights many of the energy saving features
embraced by the Sustainable NREL Initiative and is open from 9 a.m. until 5
p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit
For more information on the Sustainable NREL Initiative, visit
NREL is the nation's premier laboratory for renewable energy research and
development and a leading laboratory for energy efficiency research, with
programs in wind energy, solar energy, plant and waste-derived fuels and
chemicals, energy efficiency in buildings, geothermal energy, advanced
vehicle design, and hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cells. The Laboratory
is managed for the Department of Energy by Midwest Research Institute,
Battelle and Bechtel.
Visit NREL online at www.nrel.gov.