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Sustainable PNNL - Balancing social, environmental, and economic needs for a more sustainable future

Climate Resilience Planning at PNNL

In addition to our work to curb carbon emissions, we are building resilience toward climate impacts that threaten the operation of PNNL. In 2015, PNNL climate impacts scientists and Facilities & Operations professionals joined forces to put our research and practical experience with resilience planning to work right at home. The product was the PNNL Climate Resilience Action Plan.

Our assessment of potential climate exposures, impacts on core systems, and our current preparedness highlighted both strengths and opportunities. Higher priority areas, shown in the figure below, are the focus of PNNL's near-term climate resilience planning actions.

Prioritization of PNNL's Climate Exposures and Core System Vulnerabilities
Climate Exposure
/Core System
High Temperature Intense Precipitation Wildfire Drought Storms and Winds Ice Storms
Buildings Higher Higher Medium Medium Medium Medium
Energy Higher Lower Lower Medium Medium Lower
IT Services Medium Medium Lower Lower Medium Lower
Worker Safety & Health Lower Lower Medium Lower Lower Lower
Water Resources & Infrastructure Lower Lower Lower Lower Lower Lower
Transportation Lower Lower Lower Lower Lower Lower

The two climate exposures of highest concern to our campus operations are the projected increase in the number of high-temperature days and intense precipitation events that we experience each year. Of particular concern are how these climate exposures could impact our building infrastructure and energy systems.

The PNNL Climate Resilience Action Plan describes current and planned actions to build PNNL's resilience to future climate exposures. Most current measures are well-established procedures that are documented in plans and design standards. New measures are being integrated into plans to help manage vulnerabilities.

To inquire about technical support from PNNL scientists in climate resilience planning, please contact .

PNNL Sustainability