Environmental stewardship is a key element of our port's work both onand off-terminal. As Stewards of Tomorrow, The Port of Virginia prioritizes procedures and technologies that help reduce its carbon footprint.
At the cornerstone of our commitment to environmental stewardship is our industry-leading Environmental Management System (EMS) program. In 2008, the EMS program was recognized by the ISO by meeting all of the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard, making us the first East Coast port to operate under this certification. The Environmental Management System ensures the port's colleagues and tenant activities operate proactively with an informed ability to respond to environmental risks while improving performance through the more effective use of resources and reduction in waste. This certification affords The Port of Virginia a competitive advantage and assists port colleagues in building trust and strong relationships with our customers. With an eye to the future, our port continues its efforts under the umbrella of the EMS and has decided to include the Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) in the certified ISO program this spring.
We also foster environmental stewardship in each of the communities we touch by participating in local initiatives. Among them, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Clean the Bay Day, the Elizabeth River Project's local wetlands renewal efforts and using the port's EMS program to assist with controlling storm water pollution and air emissions. We accomplish our environmental stewardship through special training, implementation of new technologies, monitoring potential environmental impacts and programmatic improvements.
This certification aligns with The Port of Virginia's existing core values of innovation, helpfulness, fortitude, accessibility, mindfulness and sustainability. Encouraging energy conservation, reducing air emissions, reducing the number of by-products in the solid waste stream, increasing employee participation in stewardship and continually improving environmental performance all leads to environmental sustainability.
"In developing and managing the EMS, we are committed to promoting the port's ongoing environmental stewardship programs, improving communication between the Virginia Port Authority and terminal operators, tracking environmental performance as well as meeting permit compliance requirements," says Scott Whitehurst, director of environmental policy and compliance for the port.
Each of these priorities will help our port reach other sustainability goals and keep us at the forefront of stewardship in our industry.