The ISO 14001 standard has been selected by the Canadian utility, hydro-quebec, as the implementation model for its Environmental Management System (EMS). The EMS will make it possible to use indicators to regularly assess the utility’s environmental perfor- mance, as well as give the tools needed to achieve environmental objectives to Hydro Quebec’s managers, who are responsible for the environmental aspects of their activities.

Parallel to the internal implementation of the EMS, Hydro Quebec, along with other Canadian electricity companies, has joined the Canadian Electricity Association’s Environmental Commitment and Responsibility Programme (ECR). The utilities that have joined this programme have all made voluntary commitments to implement an EMS which will be operational starting in the year 2000.

Among the other participants in the ECR programme are Manitoba Hydro, BC Hydro and thirty electric utility members of the Canadian Electricity Association. The electric utilities will put in place an Environmental Management System consistent with the international standard ISO 14001, which will provide efficiency in managing environmental issues. Each year, electric utilities will produce a progress report on their environmental performance.

A seven-member public advisory panel representing all regions of the country is being selected. This panel will monitor the implementation of the programme and provide the board of directors with an annual assessment of progress and recommendations for further improvements to the ECR programme. In addition, beginning in the year 2000, verification teams, independent of the electricity industry, will evaluate the performance of member utilities under the programme.

The Canadian Electricity Association will produce an annual integrated industry performance report based on members’ progress reports, the findings of the verification teams and the views of the public advisory panel.