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Sustainable research, operations and community

Sustainability AwardSustainability award earned

The Association of Washington Businesses (AWB) recognized PNNL with the "Environmental Excellence Award." The PNNL award is for "Sustainable Communities & Green Buildings." This award celebrates PNNL's creativity with incorporating environmental sustainability into their business.

PNNL joined three other companies ranging from a world-class national laboratory to a printing company and a top business leader to former member of Congress, in achieving this honor. The award winners were presented their statue at the annual meeting in Spokane.


Staff Sustainability projects funded

Sustainable IdeasThe Sustainability Pay$ Pollution Prevention (P2) Programs awarded nearly $55,000 for project proposals with the best return on investment potential and to those demonstrating a clear and measurable impact on PNNL's Triple Bottom Line performance.

The Sustainability Pay$ Program funds staff-generated projects that bring innovative ways to improve sustainability at PNNL, particularly in the areas of energy and water consumption, pollution prevention and material purchasing.

Winners are:

  • Hardeep Mehta, for the procurement and installation of Smart Instrument Power Manage Units and Ethernet power switch on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (Phase II) and high temperature ovens to monitor and shut down idling powers. Approximately over 80,000 kWh per year reduction is expected.
  • Kathleen Judd and Jennifer Su-Coker, for institutionalizing sustainability assessment process and fostering greater engagement in operating labs more efficiently.
  • Matt Westman, for the procurement of recirculating chillers. Approximately 1.5 million gallons of water per year is avoided.
  • Heather Brewer, for the procurement and implementation of a Gel Power Staining System. The new system is expect to reduce organic acid waste and improve operation efficiency.

Students take time out to study Safety at PNNL

Students take time out to study Safety at PNNLThe Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) inaugural Student Roadshow started in 2011. The Roadshow embodies a cross-functional approach to introducing and engaging students with PNNL's culture of safety and operational excellence. Since its inception, thousands of students have participated in addition to hundreds of subject matter experts from across PNNL. This summer's Roadshow covers a wide range of topics, including sustainability and wellness, chemical and biological hazards, distracted driving, electrical safety, security and emergency preparedness.

This event is a great opportunity for interns to talk with subject matter experts, safety and health representatives, PNNL volunteers, and fellow interns in a relaxed, informal setting to understand how these areas play a large part in their work.

220 wheels mean record participation in Bike Month

220 wheels mean record participation in Bike MonthMore than 110 PNNL staffers from three locations participated in a national challenge sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club during May's National Bike Month. PNNL cyclists from Richland, Seattle and Sequim rode a whopping 20,160 miles in May. This includes all miles ridden, whether for fun or commuting to and from work. This is far and above our performance last year—almost double in fact.

Congratulations to team Goatheads led by Jason Pope, Facilities & Operations. The Goatheads placed a fantastic 15th place out of more than 1,800 teams in the Federal League of the annual challenge. The national ranking was based on average number of trips.

And a shout out to Rockets team that placed 23rd and actually outpaced the Goatheads in terms of commutes and total miles. The Daytrippers team also had a good showing, placing 51st. Individually, Tamas Varga, EMSL, led the pack, logging 70 trips in 31 days.

Riders in the Tri-Cities arrived at the Richland campus on National Bike to Work Day (May 15), taking a parade lap, complete with a security escort, followed by prize give-aways and refreshments.


Delta High School ConstructionEnergy reduction challenge sparks good stewardship

Staff took hundreds of actions to reduce energy use and operating costs on PNNL's main campus during the "Rock the Watt!" challenge this winter. Staff made decisions to choose task lighting in favor of overhead lighting; installed smart power strips in workstations and set our computers to go to sleep. Some staff were even inspired to take home personal fridges or give up personal printers. And, with the assistance of PNNL's Facilities and Operations staff, numerous service requests were filled to install lighting sensors, seal exterior doors, and reduce excess lighting in hallways and offices.

EMSL and Sigma II joined MATH and LSB as "Rock the Watt!" champions. In EMSL, staff members "chilled up" their ultra-low temperature freezers to a safe, but more efficient setting, reduced the stand-by temperature of a high-temperature calvet calorimeter instrument by 400°C, installed timers on lab equipment, and reduced lighting in offices. In Sigma II, occupants took new actions, including installing smart power strips and putting computers to sleep. Sigma II also stood out for taking many energy-saving actions before "Rock the Watt!"—they were energy-saving superstars already.

In total, 14 volunteer Building Sustainability Champions made this challenge a success, sending personal notes, walking through buildings, talking energy savings with fellow staff members, and following up on staff suggestions.

Cutting back our energy use at PNNL saves money and the environment—and this aligns with our mission to "transform the world. PNNL operations staff make continual energy reduction improvements to facilities, so it makes perfect sense for all staff members to take action too. Little by little, it all adds up, so keep up the good work conserving energy in our buildings, even after the challenge.

To find out more about what employees can do and what PNNL does as an organization to reduce our roughly $100,000 per week energy bills, visit the PNNL Sustainability website.


Economic Impact Through Partnerships

Global mass spectrometer company reaps the benefits of long-term partnership

The relationship between PNNL and Agilent Technologies dates back to the Agilent's inception in 1999 as a spin-out of Hewlett-Packard. Since then, the collaboration has been a critical and ongoing part of new product development for Agilent, a company that develops cutting edge analytical instrumentation and methodologies for engineers, scientists, and researchers around the globe to meet communications, electronics, life sciences, and chemical analysis challenges. Full Story >>


Fostering Next Generation Stem Workforce

American Chemical Society Awards STEM Education Team

American Chemical Society Awards STEM Education TeamThe inaugural American Chemical Society (ACS) Northwest Region's 2015 Partners for Progress and Prosperity Award is awarded to the team of PNNL-Battelle, Delta High School and MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Advancement). This partnership exemplifies the nature of this award—to recognize impactful outcomes and success in furthering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
Full Story >>