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News

NREL praised for efforts in sustainable pollution prevention

DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory : 26 August, 2004  (Technical Article)
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory received three 2004 DOE Pollution Prevention Best-In-Class awards for its work through the Sustainable NREL program on new buildings, recycling, and education, outreach and information sharing. The awards recognize accomplishments and innovative activities in pollution prevention and environmental stewardship.
Sustainable NREL is an initiative to help make NREL a global model for sustainability. NREL is committed to reducing energy use in its building operations, designing energy efficient and environmentally sensitive new buildings, cutting water consumption, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating less waste by reducing, reusing and recycling materials for Laboratory operations.

NREL was cited in part for formally adopting a New Buildings Design Policy to exceed the Federal Model Energy Code by at least 30 percent and attain at a minimum a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating. NREL's new building, the Science and Technology Facility, has been designed and approved at the LEED Gold level.

NREL began its voluntary recycling program in the early 1990s. The Laboratory recycled 236,128 pounds of materials in fiscal year 2003 as compared to 210,788 pounds in FY02. The recycled materials include cardboard, co-mingled containers and 'anything that tears.'

NREL also was recognized for boosting representation on the NREL Web site in the areas of building energy use, computer power management and recycling. In addition, the Laboratory promoted sustainability through education and community dialogue such as the June 2003 Stakeholder Technology Forum where more than 50 community leaders gathered to discuss environmental and sustainable management systems.

'In our Sustainable NREL efforts, we've always emphasized that science and sustainability can coexist,' said Bob Westby, manager of NREL's Sustainable NREL program. 'The goals within this program continue to reinforce that beliefówe can fulfill our mission, but meet these goals as well.'
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