The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has received three significant certifications demonstrating the lab’s commitment to the environment, safety, and management excellence.
Certifications earned by NREL include: ISO 14001:2004 (environment); ISO 9001:2008 (quality); and OHSAS 18001 (health and safety). In July 2011, a team of external auditors from NSF International Strategic Registrations visited NREL to conduct a comprehensive and rigorous independent assessment of the policies, procedures, tools and roles and responsibilities used to manage environment, safety, and quality at NREL.
“These milestone certifications demonstrate NREL's commitment to the safety and protection of our workers, visitors, the public, and our environment while conducting high-quality mission work,” Deputy Lab Director Bill Glover said.
The third-party audit noted many "system strengths" at NREL. For example, staff demonstrated a high level of awareness of NREL's policies regarding environmental protection, integrated safety management, and quality assurance, and an overall high level of housekeeping in the labs and workspaces.
The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 14001 is a globally recognized standard that 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 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.
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 DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.