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Sustainable research, operations & community

Make every day Earth Day!

On April 25, our commitments to improving the environment and fostering the next generation of scientists and engineers come together to take center stage as the Lab celebrates Earth Day and Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day. It's a special way to show our young people what we "grown-ups" do at work all day, including learning about ways to help preserve the environment for future generations.

Leading by example, we can all celebrate our progress and impacts, and renew our commitment to "stepping lightly on the earth" on April 25 and every day. For more information about the event, please contact Jessica Beck 509-375-3869.

Mike Moran, Sustainability Program Manager
Kathleen Judd, Sustainability Program Technical Lead

Employee Involvement

Telework benefits environment and staff

Telework Week

For the second year staff participated in national Telework Week earlier this month, with many staff using it as a good reason to try teleworking for the first time.

One year ago, PNNL piloted the Telework option for staff, and now it is available Lab-wide. 11% of staff teleworked once per month on average so far this year. Our goal is 40% teleworking one day a week on average by 2020. This commitment to teleworking helps PNNL meet ambitious DOE greenhouse gas reduction goals for employee commuting, and gets staff engaged in that quest.

Not only does the telework option reduce greenhouse gas emissions from commuting and reduce stress through better work/life balance, it also allows for continuity of operations during inclement weather.

Superheroes Living Our Values

Allison Campbell

Allison Campbell, Director of EMSL (Environment and Molecular Sciences Lab), has the Integrity to climb on her bike early in the morning to ride the 17 miles to work (and back again in the evening). Her passion for sustainability emerges when she leads a change leadership team for the Lab to find ways we all can contribute to be less impactful on our environment. She routinely partners to further new ideas involving technology that can save power, water or fuel, and she challenges us to be better stewards of our environment, even if it makes us a little uncomfortable. Anyone who works for Allison also knows that she frowns upon printing paper documents, unless absolutely necessary.

We all have the power to be everyday superheroes, especially when it comes to sustainability. Know a PNNL employee who has gone above and beyond recently to demonstrate leadership through sustainable actions? Nominate them for an award!

Science for Sustainability

Keeping people safe is a part of our social responsibility. Did you know that TSA's next generation body scanners came out of research at PNNL, and the next technology to go into the airports has a Washington state pedigree too? Starting this summer TSA will install machines using millimeter wave beams to look for contraband or weapons at the airline checkpoints. That technology is developed by L-3, a New York company. That technology traces directly to research done at PNNL. Read more »

Caring for the Community

Craft Career Day

Craft Career Day

It's not often PNNL's campus sees multiple school buses pull in, but that's just what happened this month when approximately 35 regional high school students arrived for the fifth annual Craft Career Day, hosted by Facilities and Operations.

The half-day event encourages students to think about pursuing a career in the craft fields through tours and demonstrations showcasing crafts workers who talked about the skills needed in their profession and the importance of safety.

Craft Career Day, coupled with internship opportunities from the Science and Engineering Education program, are two ways PNNL does its part to prepare the highly-skilled STEM workforce we need to keep America competitive.

Operational Excellence

VPP Star status re-affirmed by auditors

VPP Start Site logo

PNNL hosted a U.S. DOE VPP site review team last fall and received the team's site assessment report reaffirming the Lab's VPP Star Status earlier this year. PNNL is the only DOE Office of Science laboratory to have earned VPP Star Status, a ranking first attained in 2001 and retained ever since. Maintaining Star Status involves an annual written review process as well as a formal site visit by a VPP certification team every three years. Employees contribute to a work culture that places a premium on personal safety. VPP is one of many tangible measures that shows we continue to improve our operational excellence.

A unique way to conserve energy

When the Sustainability Program partnered with IT to consolidate five inefficient data centers into modern spaces and relocated four centers into a facility that uses a geothermal heating/cooling system, PNNL got more than it bargained for.

PNNL excessed a portion of the servers due to age or inefficiency and ported their applications to a modern super computer located in a LEED Gold facility. PNNL returned the former data center spaces to their original purpose—collaboration spaces and laboratories.

With the shift in space, cooling the central data center is 50% more efficient and we avoided ~$25,000 in annual energy costs.

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