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Sustainability Program

Energy and Water Economy

Our goal is to manage energy and water use to meet the mission needs of the laboratory while reducing costs, increasing resiliency, and reducing environmental impacts.

Energy Intensity

We actively track energy usage across our campus and work to reduce the energy use intensity (EUI) of our buildings. While some building types use more energy than others, a low EUI generally indicates good performance.

Argonne has achieved a 3.8% reduction in EUI over the FY 2015 baseline and is working toward a target of 25% reduction by 2025. Energy efficiency strategies and technologies are integrated throughout the campus, including:

  • LED-lighting upgrades
  • ENERGY STAR-certified and FEMP-designated equipment and electronics
  • Waste heat recovery
  • Daylighting and Lighting controls
  • Enable power management setting to shut-down electronics when not in use


Our Retro-Commissioning (RCx) Program works to identify and implement energy efficiency improvements beyond lighting and other low-hanging fruit”. The process identifies, investigates and executes operational and maintenance improvements within existing buildings. A building’s energy-using systems, such as the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, are evaluated, tested and optimized on the basis of recommendations provided by the RCx contractors.

    Success Story: Energy Management

    Retrocommissioning program identifies more energy savings projects.

    Learn More

    Clean & Renewable Energy

    We have developed onsite infrastructure to provide clean and renewable energy and increase site resilience. In partnership with onsite research and operational programs, we have invested in solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, geothermal, and CHP facilities.

    Water Management

    We have a strong record of water conservation and efficiency efforts to reduce our impact on this finite natural resource. Argonne has greatly reduced our reliance on potable water and is taking an integrated approach to achieve our long-term water management goals.

    Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    At Argonne, it’s as our responsibility to lead by example not only in what we produce, but also in what we reduce. We examine campus activities for opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    Our long-term strategy sets goals for 2025 that are challenging, but achievable and that align federal sustainability goals, which include:

    • Reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50% from our 2008 baseline; current progress is 21% reduction.
    • Reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions by 25% from our 2008 baseline; current progress is 10% reduction.

    We’ve made progressive strides in reducing GHG emissions through numerous emission reduction initiatives, including:

    • GHG reclamation that captures, recycles, recharges and reuses sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) from laboratory procedures
    • Space management and alternative workplace arrangements to reduce occupied footprint on-site and in-turn minimize energy consumption
    • Construction and operation of new Combined Heat and Power Plant
    • Site-wide energy efficiency improvement program
    • Increase in fleet efficiency and use of low-emission and alternate fuels
    • Comprehensive employee commuting emissions reduction program