After 14 years with an Environmental Management System in place, the Port of Portland sought certification to the international standard, ISO 14001, at the end of 2014. An EMS is a framework that organizations around the globe use to proactively identify and manage impacts on the environment and it is centered on the principle of continuous improvement.
The Port has long operated its EMS in conformance with ISO 14001, but 2014 marked the first year that the Port sought certification through third-party accreditation agency. Experienced auditors performed an intensive audit and on-site inspections of the Port’s operations and EMS.
The EMS uses annual goal setting and performance reporting to guide and evaluate environmental performance. The Port’s goals focus on five key programmatic areas including air quality, energy management, water resources, natural resources and waste minimization.
The Port received the certification from Bureau Veritas, earning exceptionally high marks from the audit team. The Port is one of the first and one of the few consolidated ports to receive the certification for all its operating areas. Many organizations certify a portion of their operation, but the Port sought certification across all its diverse operations including marine, industrial development, aviation, and corporate. The certification marks a significant achievement, but due to the nature of the EMS, it also demonstrates a significant commitment to continue to assess the Port’s performance and seek ways to improve its environmental programs and practices on an ongoing basis.