Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Healthy habits: reducing our carbon footprint

We're dedicated to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent across the Lab, from facilities to transportation.
January 30, 2014
Healthy habits: reducing our carbon footprint

From monitoring storm water run-off in Los Alamos Canyon to riding their bikes to work, employees in the field all over the Lab's 36 square miles see the landscape around them as an inspiration and reminder to go green at work and at home.

Energy sustainability is a daunting task: How do we develop top-notch innovations with some of the world’s most powerful technology without consuming excessive energy or creating waste?

Big changes for a smaller carbon footprint and less pollution

The Lab is working to reduce emissions by nearly 30 percent from energy use in facilities and onsite vehicles. Additionally, our goal is to reduce employee travel-related emissions by 13 percent.

“We are making sustainability a way of doing business at the Lab, and it starts with individual choices,” says Director Charlie McMillan. “Saving energy equals saving money. Preventing pollution means protecting the environment for our workers and the community. Building sustainability into purchasing choices builds a more efficient operation.”

We purchase environmentally sustainable products that also have a reduced impact on human and environmental health, and we and implemented energy efficient strategies for equipment and technology.

The Lab developed research methods that require less materials and chemicals. We also reward our employees for developing hundreds of projects every year that create ways to minimize or recycle waste and prevent pollution.

On-site, we’re greening transportation by using alternative fuels and we’ve reduced the fleet size. Vehicles are shared, and the Lab purchased electric cars that can travel 375 miles on one tank of gas.

We’re focused on locating structures in pedestrian-friendly areas that are accessible to public transit, and we support regional mass transit and ride sharing.

Good for the planet and for employee health, hundreds of wooded trails across the Lab property provide easy access for our staff to commute to work via bicycle or foot (and many do in this small town). We are also increasing telecommuting opportunities to reduce commuting.