Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
City's Underground Utilities is a Forerunner in the State with Environmental Management Certification - ISO 14001:2004
In 2011, the City of Tallahassee significantly expanded its environmental initiative by applying for the city's already registered ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System (EMS) to include additional Underground Utilities' Divisions of Water Quality and Wastewater Collection's in addition to the existing Wastewater Treatment Operations. This registration confirms that the City has systems in place to monitor, manage and continuously improve environmental performance.
This internationally recognized, ISO 14001:2004 Certification achievement is in addition to the City's commitment to wastewater treatment improvements and the construction of the Tram Road Reuse Facility that provides reclaimed water.
John Arvay, NSF International Business Development Manager, presented the Tallahassee Mayor John Marks with the expanded ISO 14001 certificate on Wed., March 9, 2011.
"The City of Tallahassee's Underground Utilities is proud to become the first mid-sized utility in the State to achieve certification," Mayor Marks stated when receiving the City's certificate. "We've been saying for a long time that we're willing to make the commitment to be environmental stewards, and to be part of the solution."
The voluntary certification, based on the rigorous international standard known as ISO 14001:2004, marks the culmination of several years of work to enhance environmental stewardship, improve efficiency and effectiveness, and bolster environmental awareness among staff, vendors and contractors. These actions of continuous improvement have led to lower interest rates on Bond Sales to Utilities resulting in interest savings of over $1,000,000 annually.
"Our Environmental Management System has been very important in helping us achieve our Strategic Business Goal of becoming even better stewards of the environment and in living our Vision Statement: Setting the Standard for Excellence," stated Mike Tadros, the General Manager for Underground Utilities, when recognizing the staff that helped implement the program.
The elements of the ISO standard are designed around three main concepts:
- Pollution prevention;
- Regulatory compliance; and
- Continual prioritized improvement.
The standard provides for the critical analysis of all aspects of facility operations, from communications to training and emergency planning. Results have included the development of procedures that ensure that employees know and consistently use only approved standard operating procedures in the performance of their daily duties. In addition, the system has enhanced communication with vendors and contractors, to ensure they also adhere to the same strict operational standards designed to protect the environment.
More on Environmental Management Systems
What is the Environmental Management System (EMS)?
The EMS program is a way to determine how operations affect the environment, and to prioritize improvements. It is also:
- Internationally Recognized
Environmental Management System (EMS) Benefits
- Improvements in overall environmental awareness, performance and compliance.
- Increased efficiency, predictability and consistency in managing environmental obligations.
- More effective targeting of environmental management resources.