Berkeley Lab has created a vision and roadmap to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its campus by no later than 2045. Released in May 2023, the document identifies seventeen actions to reduce GHG emissions by at least 90% and negate remaining emissions through carbon removal, consistent with the new UC climate action policy.
Berkeley Lab has already taken important steps toward this goal. The Lab has reduced natural gas consumption by 28% since 2015 by improving existing building operations. In new construction, the Lab has followed a standard of using all-electric systems for space and water heating in buildings occupied since 2015. Two more electrified buildings, a laboratory and a replacement of the Lab’s main cafeteria, are currently under construction.
Development of the vision and roadmap involved detailed input from subject matter experts and a diverse, 30-person Net-Zero Lab Visioning Team with representatives from across the Lab. The Net-Zero Lab Visioning Team met monthly to explore net-zero topics and became the first-line reviewers for the document. Several rounds of review from the campus community, Lab management and outside reviewers helped strengthen approaches.
Berkeley Lab anticipates numerous challenges along the way reaching net-zero by 2045. For example, significant new investment is needed to meet net-zero targets. Net-zero capital planning projects must be closely coordinated to ensure alignment with other infrastructure and budgetary priorities. The vision and roadmap have helped focus the effort to identify resources, undertake more detailed and integrated planning across its operations, and take near-term climate action.