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News Release: NREL Recommended for Prestigious Safety and Environmental Certifications

June 10, 2014

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been recommended for recertification to three significant international standards demonstrating the laboratory’s commitment to the environment, safety, and quality excellence. The management system certifications include: ISO 14001:2004 (environment); OHSAS 18001:2007 (health and safety), and ISO 9001:2008 (quality, limited scope).

In late April, a team of external auditors from Orion Registrar, Inc. visited NREL to conduct a comprehensive independent assessment of the policies, procedures, tools, as well as the roles and responsibilities used to manage environment, safety, and quality at the lab.

“These key certifications demonstrate NREL's commitment to the safety and protection of our staff and the public, as well as our environment,” Deputy Laboratory Director Ken Powers said. "This recertification audit verified that we are not only complying with these international standards, but that we are also continually improving our environmental, safety, and quality management systems."

The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 14001:2004 standard is globally recognized and defines the structure of an organization’s environmental management system to improve its environmental performance. ISO 14001 requires an organization to identify potential environmental impacts and establish controls needed to minimize impacts, to monitor and communicate environmental performance, and to establish a formal process for continually improving the system.

OHSAS 18001:2007 is the internationally recognized specification for occupational health and safety management systems. It was developed by a selection of leading trade bodies along with international standards and certification bodies to address a gap where no third-party certifiable international standard exists. Although it was created by the British Standards Institute, OHSAS 18001 has been designed to be compatible with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, to help organizations meet health and safety obligations efficiently.

ISO 9001:2008 defines the structure of an organization’s quality management system to continually improve quality. The scope of the laboratory’s quality management system certification is being expanded as a result of this successful assessment and will include Management of Metrology Laboratory, Construction Quality Assurance, Records Management, Environment, Safety, Occupational Health, Physical Security and Emergency Preparedness, Sustainability, Prime Contract Management Activities, Contract and Business Services, and Calibration and Efficiency Measurements of Photovoltaic Cells and Modules.

Kurt Schlomberg, NREL’s environmental management system coordinator, said, “These international certifications bolster NREL’s position as a world-class research institution and enhance our competiveness.”

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for the Energy Department by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.



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—Heather Lammers