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NIH Environmental Management System

Take Action to Protect the Future


National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences


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Protecting the environment and human health are integral to our scientific mission.  Our green team supports this mission by promoting sustainable practices such as energy and water conservation, waste reduction and recycling, alternative transportation and more.  In addition, we have released a public sustainability report every two years since the 2009 inaugural publication.  These reports summarize our efforts to reduce environmental impacts and remain on a sustainable pathway to the future. All sustainability reports can be found at NIEHS Environmental Stewardship. If you have comments or questions about our reports please contact

NIEHS Environmental Policy

The NIEHS environmental policy provides the framework for setting and reviewing the Institute's environmental objectives and targets and establishes nine guiding principles for NIEHS environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Guiding Principles for NIEHS Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

Compliance with Environmental Requirements

The NIEHS will comply with all applicable Federal, state and local environmental laws, statutes, regulations and other environmental requirements.  When environmental quality improvements are feasible, we will establish and maintain our own standards that exceed existing laws and regulations. 

Healthy Built Environment

The NIEHS will promote public health, workforce wellness, and quality of work-life by integrating the development of buildings and grounds with the natural environment and by promoting indoor environmental quality.

​Environmentally Responsible Facilities Operations

The NIEHS will assess environmental implications in the design, construction and operation of campus infrastructure grounds and buildings. To the extent practical, facilities development and maintenance will promote environmental sustainability through resource conservation, ecologically-sound landscaping practices, sustainable building design and operation, and transportation that minimizes environmental impact.

Pollution Prevention

    The NIEHS will minimize solid waste generation and the potential release of pollutants into the environment first through source reduction, secondarily through reuse and recycling, and finally through treatment and disposal.

    Minimize Hazardous Waste and Toxic Materials

    The NIEHS will minimize the generation of hazardous wastes.  The Institute will maintain policies and processes for the safe and efficient use, tracking, storage and disposal of hazardous and toxic materials.

    Environmentally Responsible Acquisition

    The NIEHS will promote environmental responsibility through its contracting and purchasing choices.  When purchasing products and services, the Institute will strive to obtain the best value by considering life cycle environmental impacts along with cost and functional performance.

      Conservation of Energy, Water and Other Resources

      The NIEHS will reduce resource consumption by eliminating wasteful practices and promoting efficient use, and by evaluating and implementing feasible and practical conservation measures in existing buildings, renovations, and new construction.

      Green Technology

        The NIEHS will recognize the significant impacts of computing, communication, refrigeration and other technologies on human health and the environment.  The Institute will actively promote the efficient and sustainable use of technology.

        Environmental Education and Awareness

          The NIEHS will provide ongoing education for all employees, contractors and visitors concerning the importance of environmental responsibility in all Institute operations.  Further, the Institute will share relevant and accurate information on its environmental performance with the public. 

          Annual Events

          • Earth Hour
          • Earth Day
          • NIH Paper Free Day
          • Earth Overshoot Day
          • American Recycles Day

          Environmental Leadership Programs

          • NC Wildlife And Industry Together Program
          • NC Environmental Stewardship Initiative 
          • NC Air Awareness
          • Environment at RTP Committee


          Recent Green Awards


          2015 HHS Green Champions
          Category: Environmental Stewardship (Recycling and waste management during demolition project)

          2015 HHS Green Champions
          Category: Energy Conservation (Installed energy efficient outdoor lighting and rooftop solar array)

          2014 HHS Green Champions
          Category: Corporate Responsibility (Transhare and telework program for NIEHS employees)

          2013 HHS Green Champions
          Category: Design & Facilities (Sustainable design practices during library and fitness center renovations)     


          Share your Green Ideas:

          Paul Johnson                                          Bill Steinmetz  


          (919) 541-4237                                       (919) 541-4234​​

          Contact NEMS

          We look forward to hearing from you. Reach out to us in an email.