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Sustainable research, operations and community

Sustainability Champions Named,
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Sustainability Champions

Below is a list of PNNL employees who have volunteered to lead the sustainability efforts in each building on our Richland campus. Through periodic email messages and conversations with occupants, the building sustainability champions (BSC) will share more about what it means to be a sustainable citizen of PNNL.

Thank you in advance to all of our new BSCs:

Joe Brown (BSF), Robin Sullivan (ISB 2), Lelia Cosimbescu (PSL), Juliet Homer (Sigma II), Shan Belew (SEB), Danny Taasevigen (ETB), Michel Gray (BSEL), John LaFemina and Jennifer Su-Coker (EMSL), Felipe Leon (MATH), Brianna Durkin (LSB), Meg Pirrung (CSF) and Judy Thomas (ROB).

Would you like to join our growing force of building sustainability champions? Volunteers are still needed for NSB RPL/325, 331, ISB 1, LSL, 3410, 3420, 3430 and 2400 Stevens. Contact Sadie Bender or Jennifer Su-Coker if you are interested in becoming a sustainability champion in one of these buildings.


Our Cycling Game is Strong!


Bike to Work Day was May 20, 2016, and PNNL had 75 participants at the Richland campus, 8 in Seattle, and 5 in Sequim. Commuters enjoyed snacks, coffee and prizes upon arrival followed by a security escorted parade lap around campus.

Over the last several years, the cycling community at PNNL has grown in size and enthusiasm and this May was no exception. Sixty staff members in Richland, Seattle, and Sequim participated in the national "Bike Anywhere Challenge" and logged their miles throughout the month.

CyclingThe Richland Rockets team, led by Jon Page (National Security Directorate, pictured), logged the highest average miles per team member (418). As a team they rode nearly 4,600 miles in May. Seven PNNL teams participated in the Federal League of the Challenge nationwide, logging a total of more than 14,600 miles ridden. A huge "thank-you" goes to all team captains, including Peyton Smith (Soil Carbon Cyclers), Jason Pope (Goatheads), Dwight Hughes (Rainshadow Riders), Erin Fitzhenry (Seattle), Scott Titzler (Aquaholics) and Matthew Asmussen (Check Yo Chain).


Recycling Gets Easier for Staff

Single-stream recycling comes to PNNL, and Sigma II gets to try it first!


Before the single-stream recycling pilot program, employees had to separate recyclables into several different bins—mixed paper, plastic, aluminium, tin and glass. Now, recyclables can simply be cleaned, gently rinsed, and placed in a single bin.

"Single-stream" recycling is PNNL's new vision for improving recycling. And it's an important step toward achieving one of our sustainability goals of diverting at least 50% non-hazardous waste annually.

The single-stream recycling practice has been piloted in Sigma II and all existing blue bins in the building were replaced with green bins to separate office paper recycling and the bins for other common recyclables (plastic, aluminum, glass, tin, and mixed paper). The Pollution Prevention (P2) team hopes to make it as easy to use the new single-stream recycling green bin as it is to use the trash can now. So for the previously unconverted, there's no excuse for not recycling.

We have received positive feedback from Sigma II staff and others who have visited Sigma II or are aware of this pilot. The P2 team plans to begin transitioning PNNL from multi-streams recycling to single stream in July/August 2016.

We also now have a complete team of composting leads helping PNNL achieve its waste reduction goals. Volunteer compost leads are: Julie Homer (Sigma 2), Colleen Winters (Sigma 4), Sam Bigger (ETB), Franny White (ROB), Jennifer Su-Coker (EMSL), Felipe Leon (MATH), Brian Moon (NSB), Jennifer Carter (RPL), Jian Liu (PSL), Stephanie Gregory (3420), Ryan Bouffioux (3410), Allison Coyne (EMSL) and Morris Good (2400 Stevens).

Please contact ^PNNL pollution prevention for questions.


Sustainability Award

PNNL was one of four DOE sites to earn the top honor of Three-Star 2016 EPEAT® (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) Purchaser Award in recognition of excellence in the sustainable procurement of electronics. The other DOE sites were Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

EPEAT purchasers must have a written policy in place that requires the purchase of EPEAT-registered electronics, and commit to report annual purchase volumes of EPEAT registered products.

Participation in the program is another example of PNNL's commitment to environmental responsibility. We embrace the EPEAT vision of a world where the negative environmental and social impacts of electronics are continually reduced and electronic products are designed to accelerate the world's transition to sustainability.


Fostering Next Generation of Scientists and Engineers

Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day:
PNNL Hosts Yakama Tribal Students

The Lab hosted its annual Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day April 28—with a twist. This year's event also included 20 Native American students as part of the White House "My Brother's Keeper" initiative.

The students attend the Yakama Nation Tribal School on the Yakama Reservation near Toppenish, Washington. The My Brother's Keeper initiative was launched by the White House in 2014 to address the "opportunity gap" faced by economically disadvantaged youth and young men of color, and inspire them to pursue education and careers in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and math. The My Brother's Keeper visit was in partnership with the Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement (MESA) First Nations program.

The Tribal students visited the Aquatic Research Laboratory as well as attending science demonstrations, visiting a manufactured homes test bed used to study energy efficient and smart homes, and meeting with staff members to discuss possible careers in science, engineering or mathematics.

In total, more than 480 children visited the Lab April 28 to participate in a variety of tours and demonstrations. The day also included an expo in the BSF/CSF and ended with an ice cream social. Thanks to all the staff members who continue to volunteer their time for this annual event so we can provide the students with multiple tour opportunities at the Lab.

Visit the PNNL Flickr site for more photos from the event.


Doing Business with PNNL

PNNL to give a helping hand to small green energy businesses

Hydropower costs could be reduced, buildings could use less energy and adhesives could be made from plants under three new projects announced by the DOE. PNNL is being awarded a total of $625,000 to advance these technologies. The three projects are part of the first round of funding for DOE's new Small Business Vouchers Pilot. Nearly $6.7 million in total funding to national labs was announced to support technologies being developed by 33 different small businesses. More information...