Skip Navigation
National Institute of Environmental Health SciencesNational Institutes of Health
Increase text size Decrease text size Print this page

Environmental Stewardship

The NIEHS mission is to reduce the burden of environmentally associated disease and dysfunction by defining how environmental exposures affect our health, how individuals differ in their susceptibility to these exposures, and how these susceptibilities change over time. In keeping with this mission and to preserve the rights of future generations, the NIEHS affirms its commitment to environmental excellence and actively promotes the public’s right to a healthy, quality environment. The NIEHS strives to integrate environmental responsibility in its decision making at all levels and in the conduct of all Institute programs and practices.

General Goals and Guiding Principles

  • Efficient Use and Conservation of Energy, Water, and Other Resources (

    The NIEHS strives to reduce resource consumption by eliminating wasteful practices and promoting efficient use, as well as by evaluating and implementing feasible and practical conservation measures in existing buildings, renovations, and new construction.
  • Compliance with Environmental Requirements

    The NIEHS is committed to complying with all applicable federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations. Where existing laws and regulations are not adequate to ensure protection of public health or the environment, we will establish and meet our own environmental quality standards.
  • Environmentally Responsible Planning and Design Principles

    The NIEHS, in conjunction with appropriate NIH offices, will assess the environmental implications of the development, construction, and operation of campus infrastructure, grounds, and buildings. To the extent practical, planning and designs for the maintenance and development of campus facilities will promote environmental sustainability through the efficient use and conservation of resources, landscaping, and grounds maintenance practices that are compatible with the local environment, and modes of transportation that minimize environmental impact.
  • Built Environment

    The NIEHS seeks to integrate the development and operation of campus infrastructure, grounds, and buildings with the natural environment in ways that promote and encourage public health, employee wellness, and quality of work life.
  • Pollution Prevention

    The NIEHS minimizes solid waste generation and the potential release of pollutants into the environment through source reduction, then through reuse and recycling, and finally through treatment and disposal.
  • Hazardous Waste and Toxic Materials

    The NIEHS actively strives to minimize the generation of hazardous wastes. The Institute maintains policies and processes for the safe and efficient use, tracking, storage, and disposal of hazardous and toxic materials.
  • Commitment to Environmental Education and Awareness

    The NIEHS recognizes the value of education and awareness of all employees and on-site contractors concerning the importance of environmental responsibility in all phases of Institute operations. Further, the NIEHS is committed to providing relevant and accurate information on the Institute’s environmental performance to the public.
  • Environmentally Responsible Purchasing Decisions

    The NIEHS recognizes that environmental responsibility can be exercised through the Institute’s purchasing choices. Accordingly, the NIEHS strives to obtain the best environmental value by balancing short and long-term costs, including consideration of the environmental, life cycle, and maintenance costs, of products and services.


Bill Steinmetz
Environmental Compliance Officer
Tel (919) 541-4234

Scott Merkle
Chief, Health and Safety Branch
Tel (919) 541-7933

Back to top Back to top Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health
This page URL:
NIEHS website:
Email the Web Manager at
Last Reviewed: September 05, 2008