Skip Navigation


Recycling and waste minization programs key part of ORAU Environmental Management Plan

ORAU places a high value on ensuring that all programmatic and business functions operate in a way that is both safe and environmentally sound. Our environmental management plan provides a comprehensive framework for making certain we fulfill our contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in an environmentally responsible way.

DOE, ORAU and NSF executives pictured with the flag awarded to ORAU to honor their ISO 14001 registration

Members of ORAU’s Environment, Safety and Health department, along with ORAU President and CEO Andy Page (pictured second from left), are shown with the flag awarded to ORAU to honor its ISO 14001 registration.

This plan played a key role in ORAU earning ISO 14001 registration in 2005 and the renewal of its registration in 2010 and 2014. ISO 14001 is an international standard that governs environmental management at all levels, from training to documentation to day-to-day activities. Only a very small number of DOE contractors have earned ISO 14001 registration. Achieving that standard allows ORAU to operate in any of the many countries that recognize this standard.

ORAU’s Environment, Safety, & Health (ES&H) department has created the policies that guide the organization’s environmental management efforts. In partnership with the entire ORAU staff, the ES&H department oversees the company’s efforts in recycling, minimizing waste, and ensuring that hazardous waste is handled properly.

Recycling and Waste Minimization

Recycling plays a significant part in environmental management. We have developed a large-scale program for recycling used consumables and buying products made from recycled materials. Likewise, we attempt to minimize waste sent to landfills. These efforts have been so successful that the net weight of ORAU’s recyclables exceeds the weight of its landfill waste.

ORAU’s FY17 Recycling Totals
Materials Weight (lbs)
Paper 59,135
Technotrash (computers, monitors and other electronic equipment, including batteries) 58,059
Plastic 8,505
Aluminum and tin 1,198
Glass 565
Total 127,462

Handling Hazardous Materials

Certain ORAU programs also handle hazardous materials and we continue to make it a top priority to maintain sound plans for managing and disposing of them properly.

ORAU awarded “Outstanding Green Achiever” by GoGreenET

GoGreenET logo

GoGreenET recognized ORAU as an “Outstanding Green Achiever” at its annual Green Business Recognition Program. The Greater Knoxville Business Journal and the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce are two of the sponsors of GoGreenET’s Green Business Recognition Program that highlights Knoxville-area businesses and nonprofit organizations that engage in environmentally-friendly business practices. ORAU was one of only four “Green Achiever” organizations recognized at this annual event for going above and beyond in its green efforts.

ORAU Center for Science Education is LEED Certified

The Center for Science Education, a 73,000-square-foot facility located on ORAU’s main campus, earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—is the nationally accepted standard for the design, construction and operation of high-performance, sustainable buildings.

LEED-certified buildings have been designed to minimize their impact on the environment, use less water and energy, and provide optimal air quality and comfort for inhabitants.

For more information
Tom Wantland,
Director, ESH