With its new certification, Foss’ entire marine division, both shoreside and marine, moves to the forefront of American maritime companies that have publicly committed to sound environmental practices and continual improvement, bringing in outside auditors to certify their safety, quality and environmental (SQE) processes. The SQE audit, which incorporates ISO 14001, was conducted by ABS (American Bureau of Shipping), an international classification society with headquarters in Houston, Texas. The ABS SQE certification program allows ship owners to demonstrate adherence to the highest levels of safety, quality and environmental standards. The ISO 14001 Standard is an internationally accepted specification for environmental management systems created by the International Organization for Standardization to help organizations minimize how their operations affect the environment and comply with related laws, regulations and requirements. Foss was certified for its environmental management system, which includes a number of programs with objectives that include:
- Reducing vessel emissions, fuel consumption and energy use.
- Updating procedures for hazardous waste disposal and reducing use of hazardous substances where possible.
- Minimizing the risk of spills and reducing frequency and quantity of spills.
- Reducing the volume and improving the quality of graywater released from vessels.
- Increasing recycling efforts in the regional offices and on the vessels.
Foss has already received safety and quality certifications from third party auditor ABS. This includes SQ certification, which incorporates ISO 9001 for its Quality Management System and ISM (International Safety Management) for its safety management system.The recent certification adds the E for the environmental component. Foss has also received certification from AWO (American Waterway Operators – Responsible Carrier Program) for meeting safety, quality and environmental standards. “Our employees are committed to achieving the highest safety and quality standards. We are now demonstrating our commitment to the environment as well – it is what our customers have come to expect from us,” said Gary Faber, President and COO of Foss. “Protecting the environment is a core corporate value for Foss. This program goes beyond federal state and local regulations, moving from compliance to proactive prevention of environmental impacts on air, land and water. It goes without saying that that is where Foss wants to be,” said Faber. ABS says by gaining SQE certification, a shipping company clearly demonstrates that it is operating as a responsible citizen.Foss joins a select group of elite U.S. based operators who have sought out the ABS SQE certification. “Today’s business environment demands a greater degree of social, environmental, and fiscal responsibility to customers, shareholders, and communities. Companies must measure and control the environmental impact of their business process and products.” The ABS SQE and ISO 14001 certification follow on the heels of Foss winning the US Coast Guard Admiral Benkert Award gold medal for environmental excellence in 2008.
About Foss Maritime Company
Founded in 1889, Seattle-based Foss Maritime offers a complete range of maritime services and project management to customers across the Pacific Rim, Europe, South America and around the globe. The company has harbor services and transportation operations in all major U.S. West Coast ports, including the Columbia and Snake River system. With one of the largest fleets of tugs and barges on the American West Coast, Foss operates two shipyards and offers worldwide marine transportation, emphasizing safety, environmental responsibility and high-quality service. See www.foss.com for more information.