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NEWS | Sept. 9, 2009

NAVFAC Far East Hits Environmental Management System Target

By Ronald Inman, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Far East Public Affairs Naval Facilities Engineering Command Far East

More than a month ahead of a fiscal year deadline, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East completed Environmental Management System (EMS) implementation Aug. 27, 2009 for the six installations it supports.

EMS conformance is a highly visible requirement for NAVFAC and Commander Navy Installations Command. NAVFAC Far East achieved full compliance ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo, Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia and Commander Fleet Activities Chinhae. 

"It requires tremendous coordination, training and effort across the region, not just within the environmental program, but throughout all organizational levels and programs," said Michael Corry, NAVFAC Far East environmental engineer, who was the command's compliance program manager during EMS implementation.

EMS is a formal management framework intended to help an organization achieve its internal environmental goals through repeatable and consistent control of its operations. It systematically uses five basic components - policy, planning, implementation, checking/corrective action and management review - to achieve full compliance with legal requirements and continual improvement in mission performance. 

Nearly 3,000 employees at the six installations completed EMS awareness training this year.

"It has exponentially increased employee awareness of how their duties affect the environment, and how to complete the mission in an environmentally-friendly manner, which will ultimately save the Navy countless time, energy and money in the future through proactive environmental management and coordination," Corry emphasized.

Corry added that implementation of EMS at NAVFAC Far East has resulted in numerous benefits to the organization, such as streamlined training records documentation, environmental management plans, standard operating procedures, and guidance.

The Navy uses International Standard (ISO) 14001 as its framework for EMS implementation. ISO 14001 is a globally-recognized standard for environmental management system requirements that can be applied to organizations of all types and sizes.