Environmental Management System
Dallas Leads Nation in Commitment To Municipal Environmental Management Systems
The city is committed to improving the environment. Truth is, no city in North America has made such a wholehearted commitment to a visionary environmental strategy that includes implementing an Environmental Management System.
Dallas’ commitment means J.R. Ewing’s hometown is now on the cutting edge of environmental protection and natural resource enhancement.
To undertake this idea of an Environmental Management System—EMS for short—is to make a revolutionary promise: a promise not simply to comply with laws and regulations, but to go beyond what’s minimally necessary and do the best work possible on behalf of the environment, the citizens and resources of Dallas. Indeed, use of an EMS is a promise to make environmentally savvy improvements continuously, in every city department, and within the job descriptions of every city employee. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s a promise often rewarded by not only accolades and environmental benefits but also by saving tax dollars.
While a handful of other cities have seen the value in the EMS model (Indianapolis, Scottsdale, even New York), none have taken on the concept on a scale as vast as the City of Dallas. Its EMS covers all 11 municipal departments, and each of its nearly 13,000 employees.
Indeed. In the words of Jill Jordan, Assistant City Manager: “As the city of Dallas, we are responsible for regulating many different environmental issues in the private sector—everything from used car lots to industrial sites that pre-treat wastewater and deal with storm run-off. If we’re requiring these companies to be environmental stewards, then we should demonstrate leadership by example. We should take care of the environment as well as we ask others to. In fact, we should probably do it better than the private sector. Our goal is straightforward: Get our house in order, know that it’s in order, and demonstrate to the private sector—and quite frankly to the other government sectors—what environmental stewardship is all about.”
“The suburban cities, and all of the other cities, they’re looking to the City of Dallas for our leadership,” Ms. Jordan concludes, “and so it’s a big responsibility that we all share.”