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Sustainable research, operations and community

PNNL Recognized with DOE Sustainability Awards

We're honored to announce that the Department of Energy has recognized PNNL's sustainability efforts with two 2013 Sustainability Awards, one for the features of our campus and one for taking a holistic and innovative approach to sustainability. Congratulations to the cross-functional Sustainability team for a job well done!

Sustainable Campus: This award recognizes sustainability features at PNNL in the areas of green building planning and building management systems; water conservation; promotion of walking, biking, ridesharing within the campus; public transportation; teleworking; and recycling/composting.

Innovative and Holistic Sustainability: This award recognizes our efforts in holistic sustainability programs; climate change adaptation planning; regional and local engagement; data management systems; and sustainability savings reinvestment programs.

"One of the reasons PNNL is seen as a sustainability thought-leader by DOE is our collaborative, cross-cutting approach to finding solutions to some of our biggest challenges, and these awards from our customer proves that our efforts are noteworthy and worth recognition," said Mike Schlender, Associate Laboratory Director for Operational Systems.

Sustainability teams at all the national laboratories will "gather" on-line to share the best practice outcomes from the winning projects on December 16, 2013. Read about other innovations and progress toward achieving our goals in our annual Site Sustainability Plan, recently delivered to the DOE.


Sustainability Pays
Proposals due Jan. 30

Sustainability Pays

Do you have a great idea to improve sustainability for your group or PNNL? Sustainability Pay$ is accepting ideas that have a direct and measurable impact on PNNL's Triple Bottom Line — the combination of Environmental Stewardship, Social Responsibility and Economic Prosperity.

Projects eligible to receive funding will:

  • reduce building or equipment energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
  • reduce water use
  • reduce impacts of business travel or employee commuting
  • reduce material purchases and waste or replacing existing non-sustainable products with sustainable products (e.g. bio-based antifreeze, rechargeable batteries, etc.)
  • enhance safety.

To take advantage of it and for assistance with your proposals, contact the Operations Managers, Environmental Compliance Representatives or Jennifer Su-Coker. Applications are due January 30, 2014.


First Nuclear Facility in Office of Science Attains "HPSB" Status

Radiochemical Processing Laboratory

Celebrating its 60th Birthday, the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory (RPL) is now the first Office of Science nuclear facility to meet the five Guiding Principles and achieve High Performance Sustainable Buildings (HPSB) status for existing buildings. At PNNL in Richland, 31 percent of our building portfolio meets the HPSB goal.

RPL is a 145,000-square-foot, fully functional laboratory for research related to national missions in nuclear energy, nuclear non-proliferation, environmental management, homeland security, and fundamental science.


Roadway Remodel Uses New Sustainability Standards

Innovation Boulevard

Innovation Boulevard, which runs down the center of the PNNL Richland core campus, was re-built in FY 2013 to improve safety, encourage walking to meetings, improve drainage and reduce irrigation water use. Sustainable design criteria from the new Eastern Washington Low Impact Development Guidance Manual were used in lieu of using traditional storm water collection and conveyance features with point discharges.

Flat concrete curbs and crowning of the road corrected drainage and water ponding issues which used to create slippery situations in winter. Sheet flow drainage off the road and "bio-swales" along the road now capture the storm water for percolation into the adjacent turf and root zone of the prominent sycamore trees lining the road. Extensive pavement discovered under the grass was causing shallow, dry root zones and lack of surface infiltration, so it was removed. The project team also collaborated with the grounds crew to modify sprinkler patterns along the pavement edges so that impervious surfaces aren't watered needlessly.


The Sustainability Program and Information Management (IM) Services put mobile tools and audio/ visual equipment in the hands of PNNL staff and in our conference rooms, enabling them to do their jobs exceptionally well—regardless of physical location. 2013 Lync software is more capable than ever, meaning PNNL staff members are as well! Wherever they go, staff can stay connected—to work, customers, and each other—via chat, audio, or video from their desktop or laptop, iPad, or cell phone device.

Collaboration-ready conference rooms have been outfitted across the PNNL main and satellite campuses. Nearly half of these have high-end Tandem video conferencing systems ideally suited for meetings that require a large high definition (HD) video display. Other rooms include a Polycom Roundtable, a 360 degree web cam with "smart" audio, so that participants in multiple locations have full visual and audio views of a meeting.

IM Services has extensive hands-on training for the Lync software and new equipment so that staff can transition smoothly to the mobile and modern tools. Collectively, these innovative and mobile collaborative options give staff members the chance to remain connected with client and colleagues—all while helping PNNL reduce Scope 3 emissions.


PNNL Science Transforms the World

Dr. Karin Rodland, a PNNL Laboratory Fellow in Biological Sciences, looks for biomarkers of disease in blood, urine or tissue that could be used for early diagnosis. Biomarkers are biological signs that reveal underlying disease or damage. To find biomarkers for breast, ovarian or prostate cancer, Rodland studies how cells function, especially in how they make decisions to grow or respond to the world around them. Watch the video (3:47)


Fitzner-Eberhardt Call for Nominations

Fitzner-Eberhardt Award

Do you know someone at PNNL who has done something outstanding to boost our STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education programs? This Laboratory Director's Award recognizes those who have made contributions to:

  • advancing science and engineering education through local, regional or national partnerships with STEM education stakeholders
  • research experiences for students, teachers and faculty
  • curriculum development and enhancement, career guidance and mentoring.

PNNL and Battelle Memorial Institute have long been champions for advancing STEM education. Only through the dedication and support of our staff are we able to have a positive impact on preparing the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators. Nominate a colleague for the Fitzner-Eberhardt Award today. Past nominees and recipients of the award can be nominated again. Winners will be selected and notified in February, with formal recognition taking place at the "Pathway to Excellence" event in September. The nomination deadline is January 9, 2014.