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Sustainability Program

Environmental Stewardship

Conserving natural resources through materials management and green purchasing

Our sustainability program reduces the laboratory’s environmental impact by addressing the lifecycle of our products and services through education, policy and programs.

Argonne engages staff to help prevent or minimize all types of pollutants and look for opportunities for resource conservation, recycling, and environmentally preferable purchasing. These efforts integrate with Argonne’s Environmental Protection Program and Natural Resources Program to support a more sustainable future.

    Waste Management

    Argonne’s waste management strategy focuses on waste minimization, recycling and material substitution. These efforts save money, increase regulatory compliance, improve efficiency and benefit the environment. Waste management initiatives include:

    • All-in-one recycling to allow paper, plastic, metal and glass to be comingled in one recycling bin
    • Solid waste characterization to identify opportunities for diverting more waste from landfills
    • Electronics recycling for all campus e-waste.
    • Composting of cafeteria food scrap and landscape wastes
    • Recycling construction and demolition waste from building, roadway and site improvement projects
    • Site-wide programs for recycling batteries, light-bulbs and scrap metal
    • Water fountain upgrades to reduce plastic waste and promote tap water.
       

    Argonne is on track to achieve our goal of 50% waste diversion of non-hazardous material by 2025.

    Green Purchasing

    Argonne’s works to purchase goods and services that are both cost effective and environmentally sensitive. Our program supports federal green procurement requirements which include purchasing products that are:

    • Energy- and water-efficient
    • Bio-based
    • Contain recycled content
    • Environmentally preferable
    • Non-ozone depleting
    • Non-toxic or less-toxic alternative
       

    Argonne actively tracks green purchasing progress and works to improve efforts each year. Our current priorities to improve green purchasing include:

    • Implementing new policies, programs, and training that increase staff awareness and accessibility to sustainable products
    • Providing resources that make it easy for purchasers to find information about green products and services
    • Engaging with our providers of goods and services to increase their availability and communication of offerings that meet our goals

    Success Story: Acquisitions and Procurement

    Argonne’s Sustainability Program works across the laboratory to support the purchase of goods and services that are both cost effective and environmentally sensitive.

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