In order to carry out our Environmental Management Policy, the County is currently in the process of developing and implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS). The first goal in the county's Department of General Services Strategic Plan is to "Advance the County's environmental Stewardship, through the Integrity and Innovation of the Environmental Management System (EMS) and the Albemarle County Environmental Stewardship Strategic Plan (ACESSP)."
An EMS is a set of processes and practices that enable an organization to reduce its adverse environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency, and is based on the “Plan, Do, Check, Act” management model. The County is implementing our EMS using a phased approach by “fenceline” (or department). Our first fenceline is the General Services Department, to be followed by the Parks & Recreation Department and Fire Rescue. Two of the main outcomes of implementing an EMS include 1) identifying aspects of your operations that could have a significant impact on the environment if not managed properly; and 2) setting environmental objectives and targets (goals). The EMS is the “umbrella” over which all environmental programs, projects and aspects are managed.
Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP):
The County plans to actively participate in the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP), which is a program sponsored by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) designed to recognize and reward entities for implementing an EMS. The County School Division was the first school division in Virginia to be accepted into the program at the Environmental Enterprise (E2) level, and the local government EMS fencelines will join the program as the systems are implemented.
The Public Entity EMS Resource (PEER) Center website provides information to help public organizations understand and implement Environmental Management Systems (EMSs). This website also contains a state-by-state listing of various public organizations across the U.S. who have implemented an EMS.