ISO 14001:2004 Certification is the first for any West Coast Seaport

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – September 28, 2007 – With the cry of “We Did It!” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa helped the Construction and Maintenance (C&M) Division at the Port of Los Angeles celebrate the official ISO 14001:2004 certification of its Environmental Management System (EMS).  The Port of Los Angeles is the first seaport on the West Coast and the third in the nation to receive international certification.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our dedicated employees at the Port of Los Angeles,” said Villaraigosa.  “Every individual at our Construction and Maintenance Division got behind the program and pushed it further than we imagined.  And the benefit for all Angelenos is cleaner operations and an improved environment.”

ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization, located in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO promotes the development and implementation of voluntary international standards, both for particular products and for environmental management issues.  The Port received certification for its EMS in place at its C&M Division which includes all craft services such as plumbing, painting, mechanical repair, electrical repair and pile driving.  The EMS is a voluntary program designed to provide effective and economical environmental management by assuring that the operations, products and services are in line with the corporate environmental policy; minimizing adverse environmental aspects and impacts; and ensuring an ongoing commitment to regulatory compliance.

“The EMS has really empowered our employees to think creatively for ways to improve operations and their impacts on the environment,” said Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., executive director at the Port of Los Angeles.  “We’re recycling more than 35 tons of paper each year, we’ve gone to biodegradable products throughout our organization, and we’ve created an Environmental Compliance Assessment tool for starters.  We’re dedicated to the program and will continue along this path.”

The overall program took a team of C&M and Environmental Management staff two years to implement and customize to the Port’s particular needs and operations.  Most C&M employees have had some facet of the training and many received specialized training in their particular fields.  The EMS has become a part of the division’s culture.  The Port of Los Angeles also requires its C&M contractors to adhere to ISO guidelines. 

Celebrating its Centennial in 2007, the Port of Los Angeles is America's premier port.  As the leading seaport in the nation in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 259,000 regional jobs and $8.4 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.  A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.  At the Port of Los Angeles, high priority is placed on responsible and sustainable growth initiatives, combined with high security, environmental stewardship and community outreach.  The Port of Los Angeles is the only West Coast port to receive ISO 14001:2004 certification for its Environmental Management System, and received two Environmental Protection Agency awards in 2006 for its industry leading environmental initiatives.  The Port of Los Angeles — A cleaner port.  A brighter future.