Environmental Management System (EMS)

An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a set of processes and practices that enable an organization to reduce its adverse environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency. It is a systematic approach for our school system to bring environmental considerations into day-to-day decision-making and operations. Implementing an EMS also establishes a framework for tracking, evaluating and communicating environmental performance. It will also help us ensure that major environmental risks and liabilities are identified, minimized and managed effectively.

Environmental Management Policy

The establishment of an Environmental Management Policy is the cornerstone of an EMS. Albemarle County Public Schools has adopted an Environmental Management Policy that embodies our commitment to compliance, pollution prevention, and continual environmental improvement. CLICK HERE to read our Environmental Management policy.

Major EMS Components

Our EMS is based on a "Plan, Do, Check, Act" model:

"PLANNING" involves:
  • Securing "top management" commitment to the EMS
  • Selecting an EMS Champion
  • Building an EMS Implementation Team
  • Holding a kick-off meeting
"DOING" includes:
  • Preparing an Environmental Policy
  • Identifying Legal and Other Requirements
  • Identifying Environmental Aspects, Impacts and Related Activities
  • Defining Key EMS Roles and Responsibilities
  • Establishing EMS Teams
  • Establishing EMS Objectives and Targets (Measurable Goals)
  • Developing detailed Action Plans for achieving Objectives and Targets
  • Developing Environmental Communication procedures
  • Developing Document Control and Record Keeping procedures
  • Developing Environmental Training procedures
  • Developing and carrying out EMS General Awareness Training for all Employees
"CHECKING" involves:
  • Monitoring the plans and procedures developed within the framework of the EMS by conducting periodic internal "audits" of a given plan, procedure, etc.
  • Fixing what is found to be wrong during inspections.
"ACTING" includes:
  • Conducting EMS Management Reviews in order to consider making necessary changes to the EMS

Status of Albemarle County Public Schools' EMS

An Environmental Management Policy has been adopted by Albemarle County School Board. Ten (10) EMS System procedures (see "doing" above) have been written and approved. Environmental Aspects and Impacts have been identified and ranked for significance.  The procedures and annual environmental reports are accessible below.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

View the standard operating procedures that have been developed as part of the Environmental Management System.

EMS Teams

EMS Steering Committee

An Albemarle County Public Schools staff-level committee has been established in order to review and approve all written EMS policy and procedures, review all components of the EMS periodically during EMS Management Review, and maintain responsibility for providing resources (human, technological and financial) essential to the implementation of the approved EMS Objectives and Targets.

The EMS Steering Committee Members are:

  • Dean Tistadt, Chief Operating Officer
  • Joe Letteri, Director, Building Services
  • George Shifflett, Deputy Director, Building Services
  • Jennifer Tevendale, Senior Assistant County Attorney, Albemarle County
EMS Core Team

A staff-level team representing the major departments of the Albemarle County Public School Division has been established in order to review EMS documents, procedures, and plans as necessary; provide feedback to the Environmental Manager regarding any environmental-related activities in their respective areas; and participate in the implementation of EMS Objectives and Targets, as needed.

The EMS Core Team Members are:

  • Pam Snyder, Assistant Director for Custodial Services, Building Services
  • Mike Craig, Maintenance Mechanic, Building Services
  • Christina Pitsenberger, Director, Food Services
  • Bill Balsam, Facilities and Operations Specialist, Food Services
  • Frank Podrebarac, Support Analyst, School Technology

Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP)


The Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP), created and administered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ), is a program that encourages both businesses and local government entities to develop and implement Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) and Pollution Prevention (P2) Initiatives.

Participation in VEEP allows organizations to be recognized for advances in environmental stewardship, and may also lead to reduced permit fees, a single point of contact with VDEQ, and various other benefits and incentives.

In early 2006, Albemarle County Public Schools' VEEP application was approved by VDEQ and we have been officially accepted into the program.

Other EMS-Related Information and Links