Environmental Management Division takes steps to keep pace with soldiers, digital environment | Article


FORT KNOX, Ky. — In an effort to better meet customer needs, the Fort Knox Environmental Management Division has taken steps to connect through the use of Quick Response Codes, or QRs.

In an effort to better meet customer needs, Fort Knox’s environmental management division has taken steps to connect through the use of quick response codes, or QRs.
(Photo credit: Courtesy of Fort Knox EMD)


For example, environmental protection specialist Brenda Wolfskill, training specialist in the Directorate of Plans and Operations, has integrated QR codes into the monthly Environmental focus on Fort Knox newsletters, as well as marketing materials and posters, since 2019.

“Displaying our ‘Quick Links’ QR code poster in work areas allows us to reach a much wider audience, reduces the time spent accessing important information and allows us to reduce the need to print manuals complete. Just click to connect! It’s as simple as that,” Wolfskill said. “Our main goal is to ensure regulatory compliance, and we do this through education, inspections and information sharing.

“Any avenue we can use to get our compliance and sustainability message out to the community is a potential cost savings and reduction in the facility’s environmental liability.”

QR codes allow users to connect to important information and more with their mobile phones, without having to memorize ever-longer URLs for websites.

In addition to the QR codes in the monthly newsletters, EMD has created a poster that contains QR codes for important environmental topics and common areas of non-compliance. Gone are the days of looking for a hard copy of a manual and spending time searching for the correct information, Wolfskill said; simply point a camera phone at the QR code and press enter, if necessary.

She said she even made their business cards digital, with interactive access links to chat via MS Teams, email and more.

“If we’re going to move forward, we need to incorporate new advancements into our business operations, and QR codes have been a great process to include,” Wolfskill said. “Change requires change; energy begets energy – follow the changing times or become invisible.

The Army’s environmental policy has three pillars: pollution prevention, compliance with the law, and continuous improvement.

Wolfskill explained that the division’s top priorities include conservation and maintenance, such as saving paper, preventing pollution and reducing the amount of waste created by the facility. As a result, she believes they are able to accommodate the soldiers and all of Fort Knox by changing using shifting technology.

The response to the QR posters has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Wolfskill, and the use of QR codes in other areas has also been well received.

“QR codes allow our soldiers and Fort Knox to quickly find valuable information. They reduce the time spent searching for information needed in an environmental emergency or in regular day-to-day tasks,” Wolfskill said. “This tool expands our ability to help soldiers achieve mission success, streamline an outdated process, and fulfill the third pillar of our environmental policy.”


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