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

Building Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Energy consumption in buildings is the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at PNNL. Actively managing PNNL's building energy consumption is one of the Laboratory's core business practices and provides a number of economic, environmental, and social benefits to employees, PNNL, and to the community.

It is also PNNL's responsibility to help DOE achieving its goals to reduce GHG emissions from building energy consumption. These goals include:

  • Reduce energy use intensity in buildings 25% and achieve 2.5% reduction annually by FY 2025 from a FY2015 baseline
  • Reduce direct (scope 1) GHG emissions and indirect (scope 2) GHG emissions from purchased electricity by 50% from 2008-2025
  • Generate or purchase at least 10% of electricity used from renewable sources

PNNL's building energy use intensity (EUI), a measure of the energy use per square foot of floor space, improved by 0.3% from FY2015 baseline. This reduction in EUI for the majority of our buildings is a result of a number of energy-saving projects, operational efficiencies, and efforts to promote conservation behavior among employees. Real-time monitoring, identifying, and analyzing building systems data at PNNL's Building Operations Control Center (BOCC) is helping inform decisions to reduce energy use, maintenance costs, and extend equipment life in facilities.

In FY2016, PNNL procured enough renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset 39% of its electrical and thermal energy use and is already meeting both the FY2016 goal of 10% and FY2025 goal of 25% annual clean electric and thermal energy consumption. In 2016, 53% of our electricity purchases came from renewable sources.

Building energy Use Intensity - All PNNL Campus

Note: Energy use from three buildings with energy-intensive operations required to meet our mission (e.g., buildings with supercomputers to enable our research) are excluded from our EUI measure per an exemption from the Department of Energy.

Scope 1 & 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions - After Renewable Electricity Purchases

PNNL Sustainability