Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), one of the nation's three national security laboratories, is initiating a major research effort in industrial ecology with the goal of increasing the economic and environmental efficiency of the U.S. and global economies. Closer to home, ongoing efforts to reduce LLNL's environmental impact on the surrounding community provide an example of how the environmental efficiency of a major research facility can be systematically improved. In the late 1980s, LLNL initiated its waste minimization and pollution prevention program, changing its focus from end-of-pipe waste management to a proactive and preventive strategy—total quality environmental management (TQEM). LLNL's success in integrating pollution prevention with R&D and operational activities is well illustrated by the waste reduction and energy and water conservation accomplishments described in this article. LLNL represents a model of how industrial ecology, design for environment, and pollution prevention can be incorporated into a comprehensive R&D and operational program. This article describes LLNL's developing industrial ecology program, gives some specific technical accomplishments that have application to many industrial facilities, and presents a case study of TQEM at LLNL's remote experimental test facility, Site 300. The integration of TQEM philosophy with LLNL's scientific capabilities holds much promise for new ideas and creative solutions to national and international industrial ecology concerns.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law