Sustainable NREL: Laboratory Life Cycle Assessment of Environmental Footprint

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has used life cycle assessment to create a carbon dioxide (CO2) environmental footprint. Transportation, water, natural gas and electricity, and solid waste disposal are the major CO2 emission contributors at the Laboratory. In FY 2003 (October 2002-September 2003), these categories yielded a total of 29 million kg CO2 -equivalent. The majorcomponents were electricity, 22.3 million kg CO2-equivalent.; and natural gas, 3.275 million kg CO2 (these yield 77% and 11%, respectively, to the CO2 footprint). Other contributors were domestic air travel and commuter travel, both of which came in at 5%, and international air travel at 2%. Solid waste disposal, water, and fleet vehicle emissions were negligible in relation to the othercomponents. NREL is enacting several measures to reduce emissions at the front end of the material life cycle. Green purchasing, reducing water use, reducing the need for travel, and purchasing alternative fuel fleet vehicles are all ways to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. In addition, recycling helps reduce CO2 emissions in the final stage of the waste disposal life cycle. Thelarge area of interest is obviously the electricity and natural gas consumed at the Laboratory. The Laboratory has implemented almost all life cycle cost effective energy efficiency measures and all new construction is state of the practice. The Laboratory continues to examine ways of simultaneously reducing energy use and maintaining the integrity of its research and development activities.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages12
    StatePublished - 2004
    EventInternational Life Cycle Assessment/Life Cycle Management (InLCA/LCM 2004) Online Conference -
    Duration: 11 Jul 200424 Jul 2004


    ConferenceInternational Life Cycle Assessment/Life Cycle Management (InLCA/LCM 2004) Online Conference

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-710-36529


    • carbon dioxide emissions
    • environment
    • life-cycle


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