Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Doing it better every day — our environmental commitment

By Bob Fant

21st Civil Engineer Squadron

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 21st Space Wing remains committed to environmental stewardship, as demonstrated by training, its environmental management system and other initiatives.

Personnel from the Environmental Quality Branch in Lt. Col. Mark Donnithorne’s 21st Civil Engineer Squadron routinely lead environmental training sessions. During every training session, personnel review the 21st Space Wing environment commitment statement, signed by Col. Jeffrey Flewelling, 21st SW vice commander and Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Council chairman, Donnithorne said. The statement emphasizes the wing’s commitment to the continual improvement of pollution prevention and unnecessary waste, and to the education and training of all members of the wing, including the environmental quality personnel.

Each element of the commitment statement carries an equally important but unique contribution to the wing’s environmental posture:

  • Continual improvement: Doing it better every day
  • Prevent pollution: Avoiding spills and stressing a safe work environment
  • Build environmental concerns across the board: Operationalize environmental management
  • Conservation and sustainability: Do not risk future generations’ ability to meet the mission
  • Integrate environmental compliance: Maintain a culture of compliance
  • Communicate the environmental commitment: Get the word out, “This is how we operate.”
  • Partnership with all stakeholders: Work with those who cherish the environment and the mission

The environmental commitment statement is part of the wing’s Environmental Management System, a system to manage the 21st Space Wing’s environmental programs in a comprehensive, systematic, planned and documented manner. It includes the organizational structure, planning and resources for developing, implementing and maintaining our commitment to environmental protection. It’s the point on which our environmental programs turn.

The EMS serves to improve environmental performance. It provides a systematic way of managing an organization’s environmental affairs. The EMS gives order and consistency for other organizations, including tenants, to address environmental concerns through allocation of resources, assignment of responsibility, and an ongoing evaluation of practices, procedures and processes.

The Environmental Dashboard can be accessed in the Wing Sharepoint page and provides information about environmental programs across the Air Force. Information about the Wing’s environmental policies and projects, including the green roof on the Wing headquarters building and the scrap metal recycling project at Thule Air Base, Greenland, can be found on the eDASH.

The 21st Space Wing’s commitment to the environment continues to be strong and enjoy the complete support of wing leadership. We have the framework and programs in place to show the world the U.S. Air Force will work hard to protect and improve the environment. We are committed to doing it better every day.

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