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Columbus Commits to Environmental Management Systems; Utilities Receives ISO Certification

News Release
12-17-14

Columbus Commits to Environmental Management Systems; 
Utilities Department Receives ISO 14001 Certification 

As part of his ongoing commitment to make Columbus a cleaner, greener city, Mayor Michael B. Coleman has committed to adopting a city-wide Environmental Management System (EMS). This effort is being led by the Department of Public Utilities, which just received the International Organization of Standards (ISO) 14001 certification for its EMS. 

“The Department of Public Utilities has long been dedicated to providing safe drinking water and sewer services, and reliable power, while also being committed to strong environmental stewardship,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “This independent certification is an excellent validation of that commitment.”

ISO 14001 is an internationally known standard for ensuring that all processes related to the environment are identified, managed and reviewed on a routine basis. ISO 14001 is the gold star standard for entities that value environmental stewardship. Less than 1% of those holding this certification in the country are known to be government or public entities. According to the web site for the Independent Association of Accredited Registrars, Columbus is the first public utility in Ohio to achieve this certification.  

“Achieving this milestone is a major accomplishment,” said Public Utilities Director Greg J. Davies. “Department staff members have been working toward this goal for seven years, and I am very proud of their effort.” The department had to demonstrate to an independent auditor that it met various elements of the standard. The standard requires that the department identify all of its activities that may have an effect on the environment, adopt criteria in which to score these activities, and develop management programs to eliminate or minimize these impacts. Other requirements include effective document control, training, and emergency preparedness programs that address environmental items.  
Through its EMS program, the Department of Public Utilities is able to sustain a more effective environmental compliance program while identifying ways to reduce environmental impacts associated with providing safe drinking water, treating wastewater, and providing reliable power. 

Mayor Coleman intends to make the EMS program a city-wide commitment. The Department of Finance began to develop its program in 2014, and other departments are expected to begin programs in the future.

More information about the ISO 14001 certification is available at http://www.iso.org/iso/iso14000. View the Department of Public Utilities' certificate.