Executive Council

Authorizes Release:

Vice President for Administration and Finance

Responsible Area:

Administration - Risk Management

Review Cycle:

Annually or as required

Last Review:

October 2016

Related Policies and Additional References:


St. Mary’s University will conduct all operations in an environmentally responsible manner and comply with all applicable federal and state regulations and local ordinances.

The Environmental Management System  enables the University to:

  • Achieve and maintain compliance with environmental regulations by a process of continuous improvement (plan, do, check, act).
  • Provide an environmentally safe workplace for faculty, staff, students and visitors.
  • Reduce costs by addressing environmental liability in a proactive manner.
  • Integrate environmental objectives into everyday decisions made by faculty, staff and students through fostering a culture of compliance and awareness.

Administration by the Enterprise Risk Management Team

The Enterprise Risk Management Team (ERMT) oversees and promotes polices, plans and programs affecting environmental compliance. The ERMT:

  • Meets regularly to address matters of environmental health and safety and security related to University operations.
  • Performs annual safety walks of buildings, sports venues, and campus grounds including after-dark tours to assess lighting (generates work orders as necessary to address legitimate safety concerns).
  • Reviews the status of work order requests related to environmental health and safety with the Facilities Administrator.
  • Serves as the primary point of contact for environmental and safety reviews and audits.
  • Identifies environmental and safety items for consideration in the budget process (due each November 1 for consideration in the next budget year).
  • Coordinates with various University organizations in support of environmental concerns.
  • Reviews the Environmental Management System (EMS) policy and recommends improvements as needed.
  • Promotes environmental health and safety training
  • Partners with the University Police Department in Emergency Management Coordination

Environmental Management System

The Environmental Management System (EMS) is a set of plans, processes, and practices that enables the University to integrate environmental stewardship into daily decisions to reduce negative environmental impact. The EMS Policy provides the high-level elements of the EMS as imbedded in a Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle of continuous improvement.

Emergency management is a key component of the EMS and incorporates elements structured in a similar manner through the Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery continuous improvement cycle.

Plan (assess and provide direction):

  • Assess environmental impact and establish operation control plans (monitor water and energy usage through periodic audits or other tracking mechanisms).
  • Establish a review and verification process to manage compliance to external regulatory requirements and internal recordkeeping requirements.
  • Promote environmental sustainability objectives through student engagement and development of strategic initiatives.

Environmental goals, if considered continuous improvement, may be identified within the departmental institutional effectiveness objectives.

Environmental goals with longterm timelines and/ or high cost of capital may be integrated into larger programs, including academic research, property development, and building construction.

Do (implement processes and system requirements):

  • Communicate EMS requirements to impacted academic and non-academic departments
  • Provide opportunities for EMS training, awareness and technical guidance.
  • Provide the tools necessary for personnel to comply with all EMS requirements.
  • Communicate impact to relevant departments due to changes and/or new policies or procedures related to the EMS.
  • Integrate additional requirements with existing processes and/or create new processes to comply with EMS requirements.
  • Enhance systems and work practices to comply with recordkeeping and retention requirements.

Check (monitor, verify or correct):

  • Monitor and measure data tracking systems for maintenance operations, safety practices, and regulated waste disposal.
  • Identify non-conformance issues and implement Corrective Actions / Preventive Actions (CAPA) to correct the non-conformance and prevent reoccurrence.
  • Perform periodic review of record retention
  • Conduct inspections of high risk departments / areas on a periodic basis.

Act (execute periodic review):

  • The ERMT will conduct periodic Management Reviews of the EMS to monitor compliance and effectiveness and determine if changes are warranted. Representatives of other departments will be invited to the review as necessary to provide input and support continuous improvement of the system. Management Review will at a minimum include review of the following: EMS Policy, Roles, and Responsibilities; Significant Environmental Impacts; Environmental Incidents/Corrective and Preventive Actions; and External Reporting, Inspections, and Audits.
  • The Office of Administration and Finance will report to Executive Council on environmental health and safety matters under the administration of the Committee as needed.
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