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

Economic Prosperity

As a national laboratory operated by a nonprofit organization, the Battelle Memorial Institute,1 economic prosperity is not just about our own bottom line, but the value we bring to a broad set of stakeholders, including our staff members, suppliers, entrepreneurs, and the community as a whole.

Our leadership and business growth have had a positive impact on job creation and the local economy, and our technology transfer successes are leading to innovative solutions for a more sustainable future.

PNNL actively supports regional economic development initiatives. Laboratory staff members provide executive leadership to the Tri-Cities Research District (TCRD) and the Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative (MCEI). Bringing executive leadership to these important groups, PNNL is helping to fuel the region's economic growth, transforming southeastern Washington into a clean energy technology hub for the Pacific Northwest. TCRD and MCEI cultivate an environment of entrepreneurship and business diversification, making the Tri-Cities an ideal location for technology pioneers to turn their ideas into thriving businesses.

Funding for Research Continues to Grow

Funding obligated for new research projects increased by more than 8 percent in 2010 to $1,162,000,000. Total costs expended on current research projects increased by 5 percent in 2010 to $1,112,400,000. We also distributed more than $500 million in the form of purchased goods and services; 52 percent went to small and socio-economically disadvantaged businesses, exceeding our goal by 2 percent.

The continued growth in contract-based research for federal agency and private sector customers is a sign that we are maintaining a sharp focus on delivering valued science and technology that addresses national challenges.

Volunteer Efforts Bolster Local Communities

PNNL is the largest employer in the Tri-Cities and well known for the efforts of its employee-led volunteer group, Team Battelle, which logged 18,384 volunteer hours in 2010. Together, PNNL and Battelle invested over $1 million in 2010 to bolster non-profit organizations in the local community, including contributions to regional STEM education programs and the United Way.2

The Friends of Badger Mountain, an all-volunteer, citizen-based organization begun in 2003, led the effort to preserve 647 acres of Badger Mountain, the most prominent ridge in the Tri-City area. Team Battelle has been active in the efforts that built and continually maintain three trails which saw nearly 120,000 users in 2010. The mountain is host to a wide range of activities and celebrations, including wildflower walks, Ice Age Tours, and ongoing outreach to children and families.


1Battelle is a 501(c)(3) charitable trust headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.
2Battelle makes direct investments in our community that are not distributed by PNNL, but occur because of Battelle's management role of the Laboratory. During 2010, direct capital investments from Battelle totaled $565,000 to the Kadlec Foundation for the new Pediatric Center.

PNNL Sustainability