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M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Awarded ISO 14001 Certification

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Awarded ISO 14001 Certification
Center's Environmental Program One of the First in the Nation to be Recognized
M. D. Anderson News Release 02/25/02

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is one of the first three health care institutions and universities in the United States to be awarded ISO 14001 certification, an international distinction that recognizes the organization's environmental management system.  

In receiving the ISO 14001 certification, M. D. Anderson became the first institution in the Texas Medical Center, the first component of The University of Texas System and the first health care institution in Houston to earn the recognition.

According to John Gamble, compliance manager for M. D. Anderson's Department of Environmental Health and Safety and leader of the implementation team, the certification for environmental management systems was established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1996. ISO is the internationally recognized body for promoting standardization of trade, technology and economic activity management.  ISO certifications are common in the manufacturing and industry sectors, particularly in Europe, said Gamble.

In going through the ISO certification process, the M. D. Anderson team analyzed plans for emergency preparedness, environmental policy and safety procedures and reviewed opportunities for new environmental programs.  Key issues and elements of M. D. Anderson's ISO certification review were chemical storage, hazardous wastes, recycling, indoor air quality and energy management.

Application for ISO 14001 certification is a voluntary initiative, one that M. D. Anderson undertook as part of a proactive integration of environmental management into a framework that consistently meets state and federal regulations and the center's commitment to the environment, said William Daigneau, vice president for operations and facilities management at M. D. Anderson.

"Our Houston neighbors and M. D. Anderson employees, patients and guests can have great confidence in our commitment to protect the environment," said Daigneau.  "This commitment has always been topmost in importance when making decisions about policy, operations or safety.  Now we have an accredited check-and-balance system that will set the environmental standard for other health care institutions in the nation."

ISO 14001 certification is also good business, says M. D. Anderson Executive Vice President Leon Leach. 

"While people in Houston and the United States know M. D. Anderson for its outstanding cancer care, it now is recognized as an institution with the highest standards for protecting the environment," said Leach. "Having in place a mechanism to respond to and prepare responsibly for environmental issues is vital to a successful business organization, but it is also important, as a health care provider, to contribute to a healthy environment."

The process for M. D. Anderson's ISO 14001 certification began last June and culminated on December 21, 2001 when the recognition was announced.  M. D. Anderson's core team of 25 environmental health and safety specialists and representatives from the facilities management department conducted the analyses, completed the paperwork, and hosted the site visits and audits by DNV Certification.

The other institutions to earn ISO 14001 certification are the Detroit Medical Center and the University of Missouri at Rolla.  
      
(02/25/02)


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