EMS implemented at government office

The Green Minister for the Chancellor's Departments and Financial Secretary of the Treasury, Paul Boateng MP, visited the Office for National Statistics (ONS) at Titchfield to present ONS with a ISO 14001 certificate for implementing an environmental management system (EMS). ONS is the first government department to use a web-based system to achieve ISO 14001, the internationally recognised standard for EMS.

The Minister was welcomed by John Pullinger (ONS executive director responsible for Census, Communications and Information Age Access), John Summerfield (head of property and facilities management) and some of the key players involved in the EMS development including EMS project managers Elaine Preston (Interserve) and Ian Lewis (ONS).

"Staff really do see the accreditation by an external assessor as a comfort that there are effective management controls in place. We appreciate the support and encouragement provided by Entropy and BSI in helping us meet what was a challenging target for Finance and Property Division."

The Minister showed a keen interest in Elaine Preston's demonstration of the 'Envoy' EMS system, developed by Entropy International, and during a walkround met support staff in the Facilities Management Unit before proceeding to the Reprographics Unit. Sarah Jane Taylor, head of Reprographics, told the Minister that ISO 14001 assessors from BSI were particularly interested in chemical handling, disposal and storage in the Unit during their audit visits.

Waste management
Recommendations made had led to many improvements in procedures, signage and labelling. The Minister took a particular interest in the way printing plates were produced. Another key area relating to the EMS development was waste management. Elaine Preston introduced the Minister to staff in the Post Room who process waste for recycling at the site.

Presenting John Summerfield with the ISO 14001 certificate, the Minister said he was delighted to be asked to visit the site. He praised ONS for the valuable statistical outputs it produces. "The government placed an increasing emphasis on the importance of evidence-based policy making so the information we collect, collate and disseminate is an important tool for other government departments and invaluable in helping the government frame policy," Summerfield commented, "Now the ONS is leading the way in environmental management, becoming the first government department to use a web-based environmental management system."

He praised ONS staff for being supportive and he was particularly impressed by the partnership approach adopted by ONS, Interserve, Entropy and BSI which helped ensure that the project was a success. As Green Minister with responsibility for the Chancellor's departments, he was delighted to see all of this good work.

In response, John Pullinger said that the success of the project had been a team effort and that ONS was very proud of the achievement. ONS is now looking at developing an EMS at its Southport and Newport sites by the end of 2002.




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