The Port of Houston Authority’s (PHA’s) historic Environmental Management System (EMS) has been recertified to meet the rigorous standards of the universally recognized International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001. The independent auditing firm Det Norske Veritas confirmed the recertification, as well as the ISO 14001 certification of the port authority’s state-of-the-art Bayport Container Terminal, as an extension of that recertification. “We are extremely pleased with this latest validation of the Port of Houston Authority’s commitment to responsible environmental stewardship,” says PHA Chairman James T. Edmonds. “The ISO standard is a tangible, measurable means of gauging our progress in this area and each recertification is a concrete indication that we have not only met previous goals, but are committed to raising the bar and achieving more.” Wade M. Battles, PHA acting executive director, calls this latest environmental achievement, “…a testament to the collective efforts of the entire PHA team.
“This could not be possible without buy-in and participation from all segments of the port authority family,” says Battles, one of the architects of the original EMS program. “I was extremely pleased to see Bayport pass,” says Charlie Jenkins, PHA’s director of Planning and Environment. “Bayport’s environmental initiatives were implemented with the community in mind.” Det Norske Veritas identified several ‘noteworthy’ comments during the most recent audits. They include:
- Top management’s commitment to EMS implementation was found well focused and very positive, based on the interview with top management representative.
- EMS awareness was found high and consistent at all facilities and levels. Interviewed personnel were well aware of the impact of their duties, operational control and communication channels.
- Housekeeping was well maintained in all facilities visited. Representatives were fully committed toward EMS implementation and innovation as well.
Det Norske Veritas auditor Chandran Ilango, who has conducted environmental audits all over the world, was especially impressed with the cleanliness and order of the Turning Basin Central Maintenance facility. “It is an older facility with a lot of activity going on,” Ilango says. “That they are able to stay on top of everything and still keep it so well maintained is extremely impressive.”