Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is a Department of Energy Office of Science research laboratory operated by the University of California. Sustainability performance highlights from the last year include:

The Lab maintains a portfolio of energy and water savings which currently totals 12.2 million kilowatt hours of weather-corrected electricity and natural gas savings and over 19 million gallons of water savings per year. Much of this savings is being generated through improvements in building operations, driven by a dedicated ongoing commissioning team.

The Lab’s total weather-corrected energy use intensity is 21% lower than in 2015. The Lab has paid particular attention to reducing natural gas consumption: Natural gas energy use intensity is now 28% lower than in 2015. 

Total reported greenhouse gas emissions are 29% below 2008 levels and 20% below 2015 levels.

The Lab reduced its annual consumption of potable water by about 20 million gallons, mostly through efforts to reduce intermittent single-pass cooling.

The Lab opened its Integrative Genomics Laboratory in November 2019. This building, which won the UC Best Practice Award for Overall Sustainable Design, is designed to meet deep energy-efficiency targets (consuming less than 36% of the energy used by the future occupants at their current facility) and use no natural gas for space or water heating. 

The Lab published a new campus-level policy on sustainability standards for operations that clarifies roles and responsibilities related to achieving zero waste, advances management of energy and water, and reduces use of toxic substances. The Lab also updated its Sustainability Standards for New Construction, first implemented in 2013, adding electrification requirements, among other improvements.


Integrated Genomics Building with a sunset behind it at LBNL

Berkeley Lab Responds to Public Safety Power Shutoffs

After undergoing two Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events in the fall of 2020, Berkeley Lab is now taking steps to improve the resilience of its energy systems. This effort is raising new requirements for sustainable energy systems as the Lab works toward a unified vision of how renewable generation and storage, along with changes […]


Line graph depicting emissions levels between 2009 and 2019, with projected goals through 2025, and split into two categories. Scopes 1+2 decreased from 41,154 metric tons CO₂e in 2009 to 32,204 metric tons CO₂e by 2019, with a goal of 0 emissions by 2025. Scopes 1+2+3 decreased from 67,800 metric tons CO₂e in 2009 to 50,754 metric tons CO₂e by 2019, with a goal of 0 emissions by 2050.

Metric tons CO₂e in Thousands


Line graph depicting energy use intensity (EUI) between 2015 and 2018, split into two categories: EUI Target and EUI Actual. EUI Actual has remained under the EUI Target line through 2018.

EUI (kBtu/Sqft)

The Lab continued to make strides in its efforts to use alternative transportation methods and support the use of electric vehicles in 2020.

Electric vehicle with charger icon

of light-duty vehicles acquired in 2020 were electric (zero-emission) and hybrid vehicles

Electric vehicle charging station icon

EV charging stations at this location for 2019-2020


Stacked bar graph depicting average water usage for FY 2019-2020. The water usage reduction goal for 2020 has already been exceeded.

Thousands of gallons per capita


Bar graph depicting waste generated between 2016 and 2020, split between four categories: Recycle, Organics, Allowable Residual Conversion, and Landfill. During this period, all categories decreased.



Line graph depicting total waste diverted between 2016 and 2020, split into Diversion rate (no C&D) – Calculated and Calculated Diversion rate (MSW+C&D). In 2020, both were at 69%, with a goal of 90%.

Green building

The Lab’s total LEED certifications speak to its commitment to sustainability.

1 Platinum and 5 Gold

Total number of LEED certifications
2020 U.S. Department of Energy Sustainability Award Winners banner on green background

The Lab received three Department of Energy Sustainability Awards: the 2019 Accelerating Smart Labs Project Award, the Sustainable High Performance Computing/Data Center Award, and a 2020 Department of Energy Sustainability Award Honorable Mention – Outstanding Sustainability Program/Project Category.

A full list of awards is here.