Harwich Haven Authority (HHA) is the conservancy and pilotage authority for the ports of Felixstowe, Ipswich, Harwich International, Harwich Navy yard and Mistley and with responsibility for 150 sq miles of rivers, harbours and seaward approaches.

As an organisation that sensitively manages one of the most impressive natural areas in the UK, HHA already held the prestigious ECO Ports Certification but were also keen to look inwards at their own working practices with a view to implementing an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS). And that’s where Royal HaskoningDHV’s specialist knowledge was called in.

The first thing we did was to take a good look at the site which gave us the basis for an initial Environmental Review that identified the environmental impact of the way they currently worked. This covered areas such as power and fuel use, emissions, waste streams and recycling.

The review was followed by a baseline report which gave HHA an outline of the actions they would need to undertake to implement the EMS and which would help them achieve ISO 14001 certification.

From there we went on to design and develop their EMS documentation system in partnership with HHA’s management team by looking at their existing systems and how they could be adapted without duplication or reinventing the wheel. Part of this process included environmental awareness training sessions for all staff and the production of an employee guide.

Once put into practice, the EMS gave HHA much better awareness over the implications of its activities. The monitoring of energy and fuel usage was improved Vessels replacement programmes are more cognisant of improved environmental design. Launch tasking was examined to make sure that fuel use was kept to a minimum.

The successful implementation of the EMS led to Harwich Haven Authority being awarded ISO 14001 certification in February 2008 by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance and the organisation remains committed to maintaining it through continuous monitoring and improvement.