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ORAU’s Commitment to Environmental Management Recognized by International Organization

Recent Audit Results in ISO 14001 Re-registration for ORAU

May 5, 2008

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Oak Ridge Associated Universities has successfully renewed its International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 registration after a recent week-long reassessment audit.

The designation, which was originally awarded to ORAU in May 2005, represents the company’s compliance with and commitment to continuous improvement in the ORAU environmental management system, which includes pollution prevention, energy conservation, and waste reduction.

ORAU President Ron Townsend notes the success of the re-registration would not have been possible without the unwavering efforts of ORAU’s Environment, Safety and Health (ESH) Office and the commitment of each and every ORAU employee.

"It’s imperative that as ORAU’s initiatives continue to grow, then so do our awareness of and commitment to environmental responsibility," Townsend said. “Environmental performance is a responsibility shared by every employee everyday."

According to Tom Wantland, ORAU environmental hygiene officer, the reassessment not only takes a critical look at the 17 elements of the ISO 14001 standard*, but also at the culture behind it, and how the organization manages its environmental goals and objectives.

“In effect, ORAU must be committed—on all levels—to serve as an environmentally responsible member of the community,” Wantland said.

In addition to the 17 elements, the ISO 14001 audit also focuses on the systematic identification, assessment, control and improvement of environmental aspects of ORAU.

"After completing the 3-year reassessment audit, I am pleased to recommend ORAU/ORISE for another 3-year ISO 14001 registration cycle," said Joe Birchfield, ISO 14001 lead auditor. "They've demonstrated continual improvement through a variety of facility construction and recycling activities. The organization’s commitment begins with top management and enjoys effective and efficient implementation with a green-inspired workforce."

Also in the report filed by Birchfield, ORAU was commended for an "exceptional" recycling program, as well as a "very robust" training and qualifications program for employees. ORAU’s successful re-registration of the ISO 14001 will remain effective for another three years, and smaller surveillance audits will also be conducted every six months.

* The 17 Elements of the ISO 14001 Standard

  1. Environmental policy
  2. Environmental aspects
  3. Legal and other requirements
  4. Objectives and targets
  5. Environmental management programs
  6. Structure and responsibility
  7. Training, awareness and competence
  8. Communication
  9. Environmental management system documentation
  10. Document control
  11. Operational control
  12. Emergency preparedness and response
  13. Monitoring and measurement
  14. Nonconformance and corrective and preventive action
  15. Records
  16. Environmental management system audit
  17. Management review

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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ISO 14001 is a globally recognized framework for providing businesses with an international, voluntary standard for environmental management, as well as manufacturing, communication, trade and other management systems.

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