Environmental Audits: What you need to know
What is in an environmental audit?
An environmental audit is a tool used to investigate, understand and identify the effects of certain activities on the environment. Depending on the type of audit and the focus of the investigation, different types of environmental audits exist.
Organizations now recognize the importance of environmental matters and accept that their environmental performance will be scrutinized by a wide range of interested parties.
As such, environmental auditing is used to provide insights into an organization’s compliance with environmental regulations, as well as their overall impact on the environment and environmental issues.
Once a thorough review is conducted and completed, the auditors or auditor may help you identify best management practices, implement corrective actions, streamline standard operating procedures and determine environmental programs and environmental plans.
What are the types of environmental audit?
There are three main types of environmental audits: compliance, management, and functional.
Compliance audits evaluate a company’s environmental performance and responsibility practices to ensure that they are in line with legal requirements through an environmental assessment. This is usually the most comprehensive and expensive type of audit.
Management audits verify whether a company has met the environmental objectives and performance levels set by management. These audits can help identify areas where improvement is needed such as required permits, materials, employee training records and applicable findings.
Functional audits focus on the impact of a particular activity, such as wastewater management, air quality monitoring or identifying hazardous waste.
These audits can help pinpoint problems, recommend solutions and identify corrective actions such as regulatory requirements, employees, materials management, if hazardous waste manifests, and more!
What is the role of environmental audit?
The role of environmental audit is to ensure that businesses are compliant with environmental standards and regulations. Environmental auditors assess the environmental operations and procedures for businesses, governments or utility companies.
They are responsible for making sure the environmental standards are being met by the business and detecting existing compliance problems or environmental management deficiencies.
By conducting audits, businesses can learn about their compliance status, identify areas for improvement, and develop action plans to address any deficiencies in their procedures.
Audits also help businesses benchmark their performance against others in their industry and track their progress over time with provided documents and applicable facility safety permits.
What is included in environmental audit?
An environmental audit includes a review of an organization’s compliance with environmental regulations, as well as its impact on the community.
The auditor will also assess the effectiveness of the organization’s environmental management system. Bonus points for identifying and implementing emergency response programs
How do you conduct an environmental audit?
- Brainstorm and develop a plan.
- Come up with some questions and checklists pre-audit.
- Review company background information and documents.
- Review operational documents.
- Conduct initial site visit and site inspection.
- Identify environmental requirements an compliance needs.
- Develop on site questionnaire and site checklists.
- Provide documents addressing site issues.
- Review assessment, inspection reports and sampling data.
- Arrange new management practices.
- Implement new environmental management systems and a management tool.
When is an Environmental Audit Necessary?
Environmental audits are necessary when there is a possibility that pollution is being generated by any industrial facilities.
The purpose of the audit is to control pollution, address hazardous waste or raw materials and improve product safety at the facility.
Environmental audits also help prevent and reduce chemical waste. In addition, environmental audit reports provide performance reviews of industrial working facilities and their possible impact on the surroundings.
This portion of the report will include an update and evaluation on current facility operations and facility procedures as well as pinpointing site issues and if the auditor has a concern about facility safety.
How do you implement and maintain environmental audit reports in your facility?
Your company or organization will have many documents from the site visit at your disposal. It may seem difficult to determine where to start especially with what feels like huge checklists but your audit will give you a suggestion on where to start from their assessment.
Organization is key to implementing new site management and new scope of work. It is important for companies to understand that it is important for these issues to be addressed and undertaken as soon as possible.
It is true that a concern or two will arise after this process is complete, however you will be able to contact your auditor and discuss any issues you may have with the assessment, facilities, materials, chemicals, tests, findings, regulations and more. A good audit should provide contact details and will be your best friend before and after the process.
How Can We Help? Ask a Question or Request Info or Pricing
Do you need an idea of where you stand with EPA or OSHA regulations? Do you need full-time or temporary personnel to manage the day-to-day compliance tasks? Would your employees benefit from onsite environmental training? Our team of environmental consultants, safety consultants and industrial hygienists would love to help. Call (316) 264-7050 today!