Site sustainability progress and future plans
By Catherine Hurley, Sustainability Program Manager, Facilities Management and Services
Argonne’s Site Sustainability Plan (SSP) is now available online. It showcases the laboratory’s accomplishments and future plans in the areas of water and energy conservation, sustainable building infrastructure and greenhouse gas reduction, among other topics.
Thus far, Argonne has exceeded its target goals in several areas including:
- Potable water use (41% reduction)
- Energy use (35% reduction)
- Vehicle fleet management (8% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions)
Thinking towards the future, Argonne’s new campus buildings are being constructed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, and existing buildings are being retrofitted to comply with High-Performance Sustainable Building (HPSB) standards. Thus far, Buildings 046, 216, 440, 241 and 446 have all achieved LEED certification, and Buildings 214, 302, 438, 435, 436, 224 and 434 meet HPSB standards. Buildings 386, 431, 432 and 433 are all slated for future HPSB retrofits, and the new Materials Design Laboratory will be constructed to meet LEED certification.
Argonne’s on-campus sustainability accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. The laboratory was recognized with the 2016 Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award for the third consecutive year, this time in recognition of its energy and water efficiency improvements and pollution prevention efforts.
Much of our collective sustainability success is due to individuals’ daily actions. Recycling, for instance, has a real, measurable impact. In FY 2016, more than half of all solid waste material—1,018 metric tons or the equivalent weight of 169 elephants—was diverted from landfills because people recycled.
Here are three things you can do to help Argonne continue on a successful path in meeting its sustainability goals:
- Use refillable water bottles.
- Turn off lights and electronics when not in use.
Sustainability is a journey that challenges us to continue improving. To learn more about Argonne’s sustainability goals and future plans, please see the Site Sustainability Plan online.