ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- The depot's Environmental Management System was audited to ISO 14001 standards by NSF International, a third-party auditing and risk management firm Jan. 28-31.

The results of the audit were outstanding for the depot.

"You guys get it," said Joe Birchfield, the NSF International auditor. "You are truly one of my best EMS audit clients and I do a lot of high risk government client audits."

During the audit, Birchfield made no findings, which he said was unusual in his line of work.

Four positives were noted. They were:
• Chrome reduction
• Single-page format for key environmental info
• Exceptional housekeeping in B147
• Exceptional chemical management progress in B114

The depot uses third-party recognition because it provides the installation with an independent evaluation, active comparison with peer organizations and informed continuity.

Birchfield noted that ANAD used to be the Alabama Environmental Management Agency's most fined site.

Now, the depot hardly ever get fined, as a direct result of the EMS policies instituted.

ANAD is now in the top 10 in Alabama for outstanding EMS programs, up there with the Department of Energy and NASA.

Four percent of all companies in the world are ISO 1400 third-party registered. The U.S. government represents less than 0.2 percent of that four percent.

In order to meet ISO 14001 standards, the depot must:
• Meet the business challenges of being environmentally responsible without wasting resources.
• Identify the environmental impact of activities.
• Continually improve environmental performance.
• Implement a systematic approach that sets objectives.
• Demonstrate environmental goals have been met.
• Improve efficiencies in the use of energy and new materials.
• Reduce waste and costs.
• Mitigate environmental risks.
• Increase the ability to comply with environmental regulations.
• Develop integrated environmental health and safety initiatives.
• Spearhead sustainability efforts.

The ISO 14001 standard was established to provide organizations with a framework to protect the environment and respond to changing environmental conditions in balance with socio-economic needs.

The basis for the approach underlying an environmental management system is founded on the concept of Plan-Do-Check-Act.