Environmental Audit Studies

An Environmental Audit is a systematic, periodically documented and objective process in assessing an industry’s activities and services on the basis of:

  • Assessing compliance with relevant statutory and internal requirements
  • Facilitating management control of environmental practices
  • Promoting good environmental management
  • Maintaining credibility with the public
  • Raising awareness and enforcing commitment to Company’s environmental policy
  • Exploring continuous improvement opportunities
  • Establishing the performance baseline for developing an Environmental Management System (EMS)

What is Environmental Auditing?

The International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) defines environmental auditing as:

  • A management tool comprising of 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:
    • Facilitating management control of environmental practices
    • Assessing compliance with company policies which incorporates meeting regulative needs.
  • 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 facility. The essential goal of an environmental audit is the systematic scrutiny of environmental performance throughout the company’s ongoing operations.

Why conduct Environmental Audits?

  • Environmental problems will pose as an important source of liability
  • It is pertinent 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 an Environmental Audit

The overall objective of environmental auditing is to assist in safeguarding the environment by minimizing risks to human health. Environmental Auditing is a risk management tool and not a mitigating measure. The key objectives of an environmental audit is to:

  • Determine the performance of the existing environmental management system in place and its instrumentality.
  • Verify compliance with the relevant 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 etc.
  • 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
  • Review 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
The flowchart shows the different stages done in an Environment audit study

Benefits of Environmental Auditing

Enforcing Environmental auditing is an exceedingly formative method with several advantages such as:

  • Safeguarding of the environment
  • Verifying consents with native and national laws
  • Indicating current or potential future scenarios that require to be self-addressed in the operation
  • Assessing training programs and provide data to assist in training
  • Enabling companies to build on good environmental performance, giving credit where appropriate and highlighting deficiencies for further improvement
  • Identifying potential cost savings, such as waste minimization, reduction in carbon footprint etc.
  • Assisting the trading and comparison of data between totally different plants or subsidiary corporations
  • Demonstrating company’s commitment to environmental protection of staff, stakeholders, the general public and the authorities.