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Sustainability: the Foundation of Our Science

With long-standing expertise in accelerator science and technology, Brookhaven Lab designs, builds, and operates major scientific facilities and makes them available to university, industry, and government researchers from around the world in support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science mission. The Lab leverages this access to diverse talent, its stewardship of a significant national research infrastructure, and its location in the northeast to be a regional resource for sustainability expertise and leadership.

We minimize our impact on the environment by reducing the amount of energy we use; constructing building and site infrastructure that puts less demand on the local environment; carrying out research that supports the energy needs of the northeastern United States; and fostering an employee culture that values environmentally responsible practices. 

pine barrens photo

Brookhaven is located in the heart of the Long Island Pine Barrens region.

photo of researcher

We conduct research that will lead to tomorrow's  environmentaly-friendly energy solutions.

photo of employees at E-85 pump

We build sustainability into our work, from reducing the amount of electricity we use to purchasing green products when possible.

environmental pillar

Take Action

Here are some things you can do right now...

Your personal choices and behaviors affect the environment around you — whether at Brookhaven Lab, in your community, or at home. Here are some things that you can do to help.

Brookhaven is Registered to the ISO 14001 Standard

One of Brookhaven Lab's highest priorities is ensuring that its commitment to environmental protection is as strong as its passion for discovery. 

In 1998, Brookhaven National Laboratory implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) that adopted the ISO 14001 standard. ISO 14001 provides a framework for planning, monitoring, and improving environmental performance. Brookhaven's EMS increased the emphasis on regulatory compliance, pollution prevention, and community outreach. In following the ISO 14001 standard, the Lab identified all activities that had the potential to impact the environment and then took steps to eliminate, minimize, and manage them. The Lab's EMS integrated sound environmental management practices into all aspects of its operations.

In 1999, Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) was the first U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science and first Long Island-based organization to obtain third-party registration to the ISO 14001 standard. In 2000, eight additional facilities were registered to the standard, and in 2001, the entire Lab site became the first national laboratory to obtain registration to this globally-recognized environmental standard.

An organization must comply with a set of 17 requirements to obtain registration to the ISO 14001 standard. These include:

  • Development of an environmental policy with a commitment to compliance, pollution prevention, and continual improvement
  • Identification of environmental aspects and impacts of an operation and any legal requirements, setting goals and objectives consistent with the policy and implementing programs to achieve the goals
  • Establishment of a support structure to administer environmental training, communication, documentation, operational control, and emergency preparedness
  • Implementation of checking and corrective actions that include monitoring and auditing functions, and senior management review of overall system effectiveness
  • Completion of annual audits by independent auditors to ensure continued conformance to requirements and to maintain registration

Our Environment, Safety, Security, and Health Policy

The cornerstone of an Environmental Management System is a commitment to environmental protection at the highest levels of an organization. The Lab's environmental commitments are incorporated into a comprehensive Environment, Safety, Security, and Health Policy. The policy, issued and signed by the Laboratory Director, makes clear Brookhaven's commitment to environmental stewardship, the safety of the public and its employees, and the security of the site.