The Sustainability Program works across the Laboratory to seek and propose projects that conserve water and energy, promote cleaner and safer operations, and plan for climate resiliency, while being lifecycle cost effective.
Water Use and Management
Water Re-use and Cooling Water Efficiency in High Performance Computing: Most people don’t think of water use when they think of computers, but water is used for cooling of LANL’s large computer facilities. Wastewater is diverted to the Sanitary Effluent Reclamation Facility (SERF), treated, and reused in cooling towers for the Strategic Computing Complex. High Performance Computing (HPC) continues to work with SERF to reduce the amount of non-potable water used and reduce the amount of chemicals needed to treat the re-used water. LANL reuses the same water up to six times before releasing it back into the environment. Released water is cleaner than when it was pumped.
For more information on how we save water here at LANL watch this video made by a LANL employee.
Through different programs, initiatives, and tools, LANL hopes to reduce waste in the community and surrounding environments.
Low Impact Water Development Projects
Projects are implemented to meet our federal storm water compliance requirements. These Green Infrastructure/Low Impact Development (GI/LID) features are designed to capture stormwater runoff from developed areas and reduce runoff volume, control duration and velocity, reduce erosion, and promote sustainable landscaping by providing supplemental water to native and drought-tolerant plantings. In addition, slowing the water flow before release helps to clean stormwater of sediments and pollutants.
My Green Lab/LANL
LANL has certified one laboratory under the My Green Lab initiative. The program focuses on sustainable laboratory practices to cut down energy waste while reducing their environmental impact on the planet. LANL created its own My Green LANL initiative. Focusing on offices instead of laboratories, this program aims to reduce paper, water, and energy waste while boosting an office’s drive for sustainability.
The Sustainability Program verifies that the Lab’s Federally owned buildings comply with the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings. These six principles are:
- Employ integrated design
- Optimize energy performance
- Protect and conserve water
- Enhance indoor environmental quality
- Reduce environmental impact of materials
- Assess and consider building resilience
The use of clean, renewable energy is the key to a sustainable future for LANL, our community, and our world.
Electric vehicles offer an opportunity to use a cleaner fuel: electricity. Electric cars are better for the environment. To that end, the Lab continues to push forward with support for electric vehicles by adding them to the LANL fleet and by providing charging stations for personal vehicles. We now have a total of 12 charging stations on-site, with more to come.
LANL is always looking to the future. One way the Sustainability Program assists is by developing a plan to move the campus towards a zero-carbon future. LANL can address climate change by increasing efficiency and transitioning away from carbon based energy. By increasing efficiency, we can reduce the expense to bring new, non-carbon sources online. LANL will need to address the main sources of carbon emissions: electricity generation, transportation, facility heating, and building inefficiencies.