Environmental Audit – “Definition”
A systematic evaluation, review, assessment of a facility or operation or an activity while functioning to determine compliance with environmental laws and permit issued under those laws.
What is an Environmental Auditing?
It is necessary to draw the divergence between auditing and techniques like environmental impact assessment (EIA). The latter assesses the potential environmental effects of a suggested facility. The essential goal of an environmental audit is the systematic scrutiny of environmental performance throughout the company’s ongoing operations.
The term environmental audit suggests that different things to different folks with acceptable analysis. Although there is no universal definition for auditing, it is practiced by several leading corporations and method is finished by same basic philosophy and approach summarized by the broad definition adopted by the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) in its publication Environmental Auditing (1989). The Interstate Commerce Commission defines environmental auditing as:
A management tool comprising a documented periodic, systematic and objective analysis of how well an environmental organization functions with management and instrumentality are operated in the aim of serving to and safeguarding the environment by:
(i) Facilitating management control of environmental practices and
(ii) Assessing compliance with company policies which incorporates meeting regulative needs.
Why Environmental Auditing?
- Environmental problems will be a important source of liability
- Important to grasp the sources of liability and techniques or tools available to control or avoid the method in near future.
- A primary operation of corporate leadership is to manage and avoid any likelihood of risk
- Auditing is a key ingredient to any conversant decision making, risk dodging and a resolution element of environmental management
Objectives of Environmental Audit
The overall objective of environmental auditing is to assist in less matter of time and safeguard the environment with minimizing risks to human health. Clearly by auditing alone the goal cannot be achieved (hence creating use of the word help); it is a management tool. The key objectives of an environmental audit so is to:
- Determine how well the environmental management system and the instrumentality are performing.
- Verify compliance with the relevant national, native with different laws and regulations
- Minimize human exposure to risks produced from environmental, health and safety issues.
Audit Scope of Work
- Define environmental media subject to audit - Air, Water and Waste
- Review of environmental reports with previous site assessments
- Review all updated environmental permits and operating conditions
- Review all records in monitoring and testing of equipment
- Access to the environmental manager or consultant who is familiar with the compliance history, environmental policies, and documentation method
- Allow time for detailed facility/site inspections
- Providing contracts or purchase records for regulated instrumentality, i.e. boilers, engines, combustion units
- Review of all previous notices of violations or citations identified by federal, state and local agencies
- Identify all facilities/properties owned or operated
- Review of maintenance records and service contracts, i.e. filter changes, disposal, chemical
- Operating records, i.e. hours operated, shifts
- Make everyone involved aware of the schedule
Figure: General Audit Process
Benefits of Environmental Auditing
If environmental auditing is enforced in an exceedingly formative way then there will be several advantages evolved from the planned method.
- Safeguard the environment
- Verify consents with native and national laws
- Indicate current or potential future issues that require to be self-addressed in the operation
- Assess training programmes and provide data to assist in training
- Enable companies to build on good environmental performance, give credit where appropriate and highlight deficiencies
- Identify potential cost savings, such as from waste minimization
- Assist the trading and comparison of data between totally different plants or subsidiary corporations
- Demonstrate company commitment to environmental protection of staff, the general public and the authorities.