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Environmental and Sustainability Management System

To enhance our environmental performance the City of Tacoma's Environmental Services Department has implemented Environmental and Sustainability Management Systems (ESMS) for the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant and Solid Waste Management.

What is an ESMS? 

ESMS LogoAn ESMS is a management tool based on the plan, and is designed to assist an organization to reduce their impacts on the environment, increase sustainability, ensure compliance with environmental regulations, and begin to integrate environmental considerations into everyday business operations. Environmental Services used the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 14001 Standard as the framework to build an effective management system. On October 20, 2015, the City was issued ESMS certification for the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant; on January 12, 2021, ESMS certification was issued to the Solid Waste Management.


To outline Environmental Services' commitment to improving our environmental performance under the ESMS, an Environmental Policy was issued.


Significant Environmental Aspects

The system requires the organization to evaluate all of the facility's processes and procedures to determine their environmental impact. After evaluating the processes of the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant, four significant environmental aspects have been identified and goals set to improve their impacts on the environment:

Air EmissionsConvert 40% of biogas emissions to fuelElectricity ConservationReduce annual energy use by 2%Resource Consumption Reduce impacts from fleet vehicles and deliveries

Water Source Optimization Optimize water sources through operational and equipment changes

 Solid Waste Management Division identified four significant environmental aspects and developed the following goals to improve their impacts:


Air Emissions - Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from well to wheel by 15%; and reduce CO2 air emissions by 25%


Potential Spill - Reduce the number of spills


​Fire Potential - Reduce the frequency of trailer fires; and reduce firefighting discharges to the storm system


​Resource Consumption - Reduce contamination in residential recycling stream

Additional Information

Contact the coordination team