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Green NASA Ames

NASA Ames is working hard to reduce its carbon footprint, encourage sustainable institutional practices, and motivate employees to choose environmentally-responsible work and lifestyle habits. Learn more about NASA's role in green institutions.


Sustainability Report

The Environmental Management Division announces the release of the 2009 Ames Environmental Sustainability Report (3.4MB pdf). The report is intended to be the first in an annual series documenting the Center’s accomplishments in working toward Agency and Federal goals for sustainability with an emphasis on Executive Order 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management. The report also provides links to Center efforts in science and technology related to the sustainability.

View of NASA Ames



NASA Ames is getting ready to break ground on a revolutionary new high performance building. We also have a "cool roof" building, which uses white reflective foam to keep the building temperatures cool. Some of our buildings have carpets made from recycled bottles. And we include green performance metrics for our building contracts, which require energy efficiency savings over time.

Green Building Plans


Environmental Management

The Environmental Services Division is actively involved in many voluntary and required environmental management projects, including wildlife habitat protection, salt pond restoration, carbon footprint tracking/management, hazardous waste/chemical management, bioremediation research, and air quality monitoring. The Division is also voluntarily cleaning up past contamination at the Center.

employees assessing bioremediation plans


Energy Management

Our Facilities Engineering Branch has a number of energy-related projects, including prototype LED streetlights and solar-powered parking lot lighting. Additionally, we have rooftop solar panels, a windmill that powers our storm management system, and energy-efficient motion sensor lightswitches in some of our buildings.

rooftop solar panels


Water Conservation

We are partnering with the City of Sunnyvale to use reclaimed water for our irrigation and landscaping requirements on the northeast sector of the campus. This project will cut our water use by 10%. We also have installed low-flow toilets in some of our buildings.

landscaping and sprinklers



Our Environmental Services Division and Facilities Engineering Branch implemented native plant landscaping. We also maintain an active compost pile, and we've been known to hire goat herds to mow some of our grassy areas at lower emissions and cost than powered mowing.

goats and goat herder



NASA Ames has active programs that recycle paper, batteries, printer cartridges, bottles, cans, cardboard, building material, electronic waste, metal waste, and computers.

e-waste recycle sign, paper recycling and computers



We have an active commute-alternatives program, particpate in Bike-to-Work-Day, and offer subsidized employee public transportation passes. Additionally, we have compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) in our motorpool fleet, and use green products to maintain them. We also recycle antifreeze and use recapped tires on our vehicles.

NASA shuttle bus


Green Products

Our in-house office supply store carries many green products, including 100% recycled paper. As a Federal Agency, NASA Ames participates in the Affirmative Procurement Program (pdf, 24K), which requires us to purchase items that are made of recycled content. Our cafeteria features green, biodegradable takeaway cups, containers, and cutlery.


Employee Engagement

NASA Ames has a number of activities that are designed to engage our employees in green efforts, including the Annual Earth Day Expo, Sustainability Awards, GREEN seminars, and guest speakers.

jonathan trent at green seminar