Environmental Protection
Argonne's environmental stewardship leverages our R&D programs to help reduce our own electricity use, water consumption and environmental emissions.

Environment and Sustainability


Argonne National Laboratory is helping our nation build an economy based on renewable energy, a reduced carbon footprint and freedom from foreign oil. We continually monitor our energy use and emissions to minimize our environmental impact and improve our day-to-day operations. Our environmental stewardship programs leverage our R&D programs to help reduce our own electricity use, water consumption and environmental emissions.


Argonne's environmental policy commits the laboratory to conduct experiments, facility operations, construction and all other activities in an environmentally safe and sound manner that is consistent with Argonne's permits and that works for continual improvement. The laboratory's Environmental Management System is ISO 14001:2004 certified.


Argonne strives to be a good neighbor and a responsible environmental steward. A number of Argonne programs care for the environment by continually monitoring and measuring contaminants onsite and by conscientiously tracking, collecting and properly disposing of the small amounts of chemical and radioactive waste that Argonne research generates. Argonne also carries out environmental monitoring for the U.S. Department of Energy of Red Gate Woods, where nuclear-reactor-related research was performed from 1943 to the mid-1950s.

Argonne Site Environmental Reports

Since 1972, Argonne's has monitored the environment of its Illinois site and each year issued public reports on its findings. The latest reports are available here. An archive of reports since 1972 is also available on request.



  • Summary Site Environmental Report: This document summarizes in plain English the annual results of Argonne's ongoing site environmental monitoring and surveillance program.

  • Site Environmental Report: This document is Argonne's most recent annual report on environmental monitoring and clean-up activities.

  • Surveillance of Site A and Plot M: This document is an official annual report of environmental surveillance of Site A and Plot M at Red Gate Woods in the Cook County Forest Preserve. A number of small research reactors, including the world's first nuclear reactor, operated on this site from 1943 to the mid-1950s.