Dec. 4, 2009

Environmental Management System certified

The Laboratory has achieved ISO14001 certification for its Environmental Management System, conforming to standards set by the International Organization for Standardization.

The purpose of the internationally recognized standard is to foster sound environmental practices, such as pollution prevention and waste reduction, that minimize negative effects upon the environment from an organization's operations or work activities.

ISO 14001 certification was bestowed upon LLNL by NSF International Strategic Registrations, an independent, not-for-profit auditing organization that examined the Lab's environmental policy, how the Lab addresses environmental aspects in the planning and execution of work, communication of EMS and related requirements to employees and subcontractors, and the steps taken to establish targets and programs to reduce environmental impacts.

"ISO 14001 certification is a major achievement for the Laboratory," Deputy Director Steve Liedle said. "It demonstrates to Lab employees and to our stakeholders the Laboratory's strong commitment to environmental stewardship and the strong performance of its formal environmental protection program."

ISO 14001 certification was one goal in the Lab's multi-year strategy for operational improvement, and implementation of an environmental management system is a requirement of DOE's Environmental Protection Program Order. It also is an important factor as the Laboratory moves to take on more Work For Others. ISO certification bolsters the Lab's qualifications as it bids for outside projects, and in some cases — especially internationally — ISO 14001 certification is a requirement for any bidder seeking a contract.

"Certification is an important milestone in the long-term strategic vision for the Lab," Liedle said.

During the certification audit process, ISO audit team members toured every Lab directorate and many facilities, reviewed documents and activities, and conducted numerous interviews with supervisors and employees, who demonstrated a high awareness of the Laboratory's environmental policy, goals and objectives.

"I want to congratulate and thank the many Lab employees who took part in the certification process," said Bruce Schultz, head of the Environmental Protection Department in the Environment, Safety & Health Directorate.

"Our Environmental Management System is all about how work gets done around the Laboratory, and we were able to demonstrate to the ISO auditors that Lab personnel at all levels are aware of how their work activities may impact the environment and how to use work controls to minimize or eliminate those impacts."