Army Ground Vehicle Center Passes, Excels in Environmental Audit
By Maj. Douglas Halleaux (Army National Guard)June 12, 2019
DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich.--After a week-long audit of its environmental awareness and compliance program, the U.S. Army Combat Capability Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) earned the highest praise for its commitment to environmental awareness and protection programs, June 7, 2019.The ISO 14001 program defines the standards to which agencies, companies, laboratories and other businesses should comply to ensure their activities are in keeping with environmentally-friendly practices.GVSC has maintained an environmental awareness program for more than 17 years, driving an atmosphere of environmental stewardship that auditors say is clearly deeply-embedded in the center's culture."Everyone I talked to had this awareness of the compliance side, but also of the bigger picture," said McKenna Thayer, the lead Auditor from Perry Johnson Registrars, an external company specializing in such environmental audits. "It's the culture and the leadership team, it's a part of the culture and I enjoy seeing that. You can tell that it's more than just the annual training, but that [GVSC] takes environmental awareness to heart.""We bring in auditors every year for a week-long look at our program, our processes and our systems," said GVSC's environmental officer, Mohammed Arif. "This year was a surveillance audit, an azimuth-check for our program. Next year, and every three years, is the recertification audit, where the auditors investigate every nook and cranny of our program and our labs. We're in a great position to continue our environmental excellence and success in this program.""This reassures our team and the rest of the organization that we're on the right track," said Charles Hill, acting Assistant Chief of Staff for Environment, Health and Safety, GVSC.
The U.S. Army does not require its labs to conform to the rigorous ISO 14001 standards, but encourages them to pursue the certification. The Ground Vehicle Systems Center was among the first Army centers to earn conformance status, and has carried it consistently since 2002.