The Plan-Do-Check-Act model creates continuous improvement through an innovative education and communication program that incorporates all levels of staff into the environmental management process. Major keys to the Port’s EMS include strong management commitment and a clear understanding of risk and impact of activities conducted by Port employees.
PLAN: During the planning stage goals are set. Team members identify potential impacts from activities, legal requirements that need to be met, as well as Port policies and voluntary programs that also have standards to meet. Using this information, objectives and targets are established.
DO: The next stage is implementation. The roles and responsibilities of staff members are identified, operational controls are developed and put in to place to reduce or eliminate potential environmental impacts, the program elements are communicated and staff is properly trained to ensure competence. The entire program is well documented to ensure compliance.
CHECK: This stage checks the progress of the system. Progress is monitored and measured, compliance with regulations is evaluated, and issues and inconsistencies with the system are identified. This is achieved through ongoing staff input and periodic internal and external audits. The EMS must be recertified through third-party audits that occur every three years.
ACT: Continuous improvement is ensured during this stage. Strategies are developed to address concerns identified in the check stage. Management review of the EMS provides accountability, demonstrates leadership in environmental protection, ensures required resources are available, and sets new goals to achieve, thus keeping the system moving forward.