Lessons Learned from a Corporate Commitment to Enhanced
Environmental Management Systems
Kim M. Fowler, Pacific Northwest National
Based on Battelle's experience with establishing effective environmental
management systems (EMS) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
national laboratories that it operates/co-operates and due to its
commitment to being a learning organization, we want to share the
lessons learned with other Research and Development organizations
to assist them with increased EMS deployment speed and saved resources.
As part of Battelle's commitment to environmentally responsible
operations, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have established an
enhanced EMS that focuses on environmental hazard identification,
control and monitoring throughout the work life-cycle.
Some of the
components that we have learned are key to effective EMSs include
strong senior management commitment, integration into organizational
business systems, performance based management and review processes,
innovative work planning, defined roles and responsibilities for
key stakeholders, deployment of environmental expertise throughout
the line organization, chemical management systems, and proactive
legacy waste, pollution prevention, communication and community
involvement programs. This approach has resulted in substantial
improvements in accountability, hazard and waste reductions, cost
savings, and compliance at these DOE Laboratories.
For these Laboratories,
Battelle opted for the rigor of the registration process, as the
independent audits provide validity and credibility, and help assure
that the system is sustained and continually improving. Their EMSs
also go beyond ISO 14001, by placing additional emphasis on achievement of full compliance, pollution prevention, and effective and focused
communications and community outreach. This presentation will share
what worked well and will identify the challenges we faced while
developing these EMSs.
Enhanced EMSs have resulted in all three Laboratories experiencing
improved accountability; significant reductions in hazards, waste
generation and resource use; substantial cost savings associated
with pollution prevention; and, improved compliance status. The
laboratories have implemented a holistic approach that is fully
integrated with other business systems including facilities and
operations. Battelle's efforts have been recognized by national,
state and local entities including the 2004 White House Closing
the Circle Award for EMSs.
The Laboratories continue to build academic
and institutional partnerships in science and technology and related
fields to work for a cleaner and safer environment. Community spirit
is strong with staff volunteerism, corporate contributions, and
educational outreach programs. Battelle's performance based management,
field service models and chemical management system have been adopted
by other DOE national laboratories, DOD sites, and private industry.
Battelle's EMS's can be used as a model for other organizations
and through this presentation we want to share our lessons learned
with those interested in our holistic approach to EMSs.
As a Senior Research Engineer at the Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory, Kim M. Fowler specializes in the areas of pollution
prevention, sustainable design, and environmental management systems.
She works for private industry and government clients establishing
new environmental programs, evaluating processes for efficiency
opportunities, and assessing the environmental, social and economic
consequences of process, product, and facility designs.
Ms. Fowler is a U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy
& Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional.
She has co-authored two handbooks: Pollution Prevention Opportunity
Assessments for Research & Development Laboratories (Battelle
Press) and How Interested Parties Become Partners: A Communications
Guide for Sustainable Development (Battelle Press, summer 2004 release).
She has also co-authored chapters in the Handbook of Complex Environmental
Remediation Problems (McGraw-Hill) and Unfolding Stakeholder Thinking
(Greenleaf Publishing). She is an adjunct faculty member at Washington
State University in the Environmental Science and Engineering Departments
and holds a master's degree in Environmental Engineering (Washington
State University) and a bachelor's degree in Political Science and
Business Administration (Pacific Lutheran University).
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