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Environmental Audit in Organisations


What is environmental audit?

Environmental audits are the tools which can calculate or check an organisational environmental performance and spot position of that organisation toward environment.

Environmental Audit
Environmental Audit

Different types of environmental audit?

There are three main types of environmental audits:
1. Environmental compliance audit.

2. Environmental management audit to check if an organization meets its indicated or specified objectives.

3. Functional environmental audit for the water and for the electricity.


Advantages or benefits of environmental audits in organisations

Advantages of environmental audit differs as per or according to the objectives and scope of the audit. Below are some of the advantages or benefits of environmental audits;
  • Environmental audits help different organisations to understand the legal necessities related to environment, which they have to follow.
  • Audit helps organisations to meet detailed legal reporting necessities or requirements.
  • With the help of audits, organisations can prove that they follow all environmental responsibility.
  • With the help of audits, organisations can prove that their environmental policy is fulfilled and properly implemented.
  • It helps to understand environmental relations between products, services and organisational activities.
  • It helps organisations to Know that their environmental risks are accomplished or handled properly.
  • It helps organisations in development and implementation of ISO 14001 EMS.
  • Audit helps to improve organisational performance related to environment.

Who should perform an environmental audit in an organisation?

Definitely auditor will do environmental audit, but auditor should be select according to below criteria's;
  • The selection of auditor we can perform with the help of information provided in ISO 19011:2012 Guidelines for auditing management systems.
  • Environmental auditor should have good ethics, broad-mindedness, insightfulness and thoughtfulness.
  • Auditor should understand proper audit ethics, processes and methods.
  • Auditor should have good experience in conducting the environmental audits.
  • Environmental auditors should know the subject topic in detail and how they can apply it to different organisations.
  • Auditors should plan the resource efficiently.
  • Auditors should show good communication and control abilities.
  • Environmental auditors should be properly trained and should complete all the appropriate training's and level of education.
  • Environmental auditors certified by additional organisations like EPA, should be given priority.
Along with audit perform by the external auditor, organisations should also follow and arrange the internal environmental audit.

What is internal environmental audit in organisations?

Internal environmental audits in organisations are the regular (or according to predefined time plan) inspection of organisational operating methods, where auditor compares the operating procedures with the environmental management system (EMS) guide or manual.

Why internal environmental audits needed in organisations?

An internal environmental audit in organisation will help to find;
  • Is environmental management practices are working well and well organised.
  • Is environmental management practices need to be upgrade?
  • Is there are chances of new environmental risks?
  • Are all environmental management practices complying with the decided guidelines, objectives and targets as per EMS?
  • Is active emergency processes and control structures are implemented?
  • Is practices meets legal requirements?
  • Is employees and suppliers have the skills needed and are given appropriate training related to environmental policies?
  • Environmental audit makes establishment for suitable communications between different departments in an organisation.

Who should conduct internal environmental audit in an organisation?

After discussion with different departments for internal environmental audit, organisation should select an experienced professional who have knowledge of EMS and is skilled in performing audit.

Main focusing areas for environmental audit

The audit should focus on areas of environmental importance and statutory compliance. Focus on a specific process or part of the organisational site which is critical as per environmental laws. Focus more where organisation failed to meet the law in last audit.
Also focus on below environmental concerns;
  • Disposal of solid waste
  • Emissions of gases
  • Sewage discharge and its treatment
  • Management of power and energy
  • Material handling and its storage
  • Occupational sanitization or cleanliness
  • Chemical handling and its storage
  • Response to an incident or event
  • Machine noise level
  • Environmental related programmes
  • Control of pollution

Frequency of environmental audits in an organisation

It depends on the consequence of environmental facets, but should plan to audit all processes and the areas at least once in a year.

Conclusion

Environmental audits help organisations to meet all the applicable laws imposed by government. It adheres safety and well organised work flow. Also, internal environmental audit in organisations keep the working processes as per guidelines and help organisations to keep them update with new government policies.


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