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Custom House becomes first Government Department to receive Environmental Management Award under ISO 14001

Published on Monday, 01 Jul 2019
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The Custom House today (1 July, 2019) became the first Government Department office to receive the award for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) under ISO 14001. Eoghan Murphy,T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, whose Department is based in the Custom House, along with Department Secretary General John McCarthy, were formally presented with the certificate for the ISO 14001: 2015 International Standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS).

“I am delighted to accept this certification on behalf of my Department,” Minister Murphy said. “This Government has recently launched its Climate Action Plan and at the heart of this Plan is the desire to protect our environment, minimise our carbon footprint and promote sustainable development. Under the EMS for the Custom House, we are making a small but valuable contribution to this plan. Our EMS allows us to identify our environmental impacts and to develop actions and procedures aimed at improving our performance. This will result in the use of less electricity, less waste generated and increased recycling, thus saving taxpayers’ money,” he added.

The ISO 14001: 2015 Standard sets out specifics of how organisations must plan an EMS. It must cater for environmental aspects, impacts, compliance obligations, objectives, risk  and opportunity management.  The Standard demands EMS plans should be measureable and monitored, communicated and updated.  The measures need to be specific on what is to be done, by whom and when. It must also be clear how evaluation and resourcing will be addressed. 

Secretary General John McCarthy added: “By completing the ISO certification process on its environmental management systems, our Department is putting to the test the commitments given to achieving ongoing improvements in standards. It further complements commitments in our Statement of Strategy to advance the sustainable development agenda. Good environmental performance is as relevant in our workplace as it is in the home and elsewhere, and is accordingly an integral part of our day-to-day management and activities.  The office environment is demanding on many resources, including energy, water, paper, equipment and other consumables, and reducing consumption is a win-win situation. We will now move to implement, on a phased basis,  EMSs in our Department’s other main offices”.