What Is an Environmental Audit?

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What is an Environmental Audit
Environmental auditing is a systematic, documented, periodic and objective process in assessing an organization's activities and services in relation to: • Assessing compliance with relevant statutory and internal requirements • Facilitating management control of environmental practices • Promoting good environmental management

• Maintaining credibility with the public
• Raising staff awareness and enforcing commitment to departmental environmental policy • Exploring improvement opportunities
• Establishing the performance baseline for developing an Environmental Management System (EMS)

Conducting an environmental audit is no longer an option but a sound precaution and a proactive measure in today's heavily regulated environment. Indeed, evidence suggests that EA has a valuable role to play, encouraging systematic incorporation of environmental perspectives into many aspects of an organisation's overall operation, helping to trigger new awareness and new priorities in policies and practices.

Planning an Environmental Audit
Any premises that wishes to conduct an environmental audit must have a clear idea of the objectives of the exercise and the steps required to achieve it. Before commencing an environmental audit, the following requirements must be fulfilled:

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• Obtain commitment at the Directorate level
• Communicate commitment to personnel at all levels

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To include:
• Audit site and boundary
• Audit objective(s)
• Areas of audit
Audit objectives typically entail:
• Verification of legislative and regulatory compliance • Assessment of internal policy and procedural conformance • Establishment of current practice status
• Identification of improvement opportunities
Areas of audit normally encompass:
• Material management, savings and alternatives
• Energy management and savings
• Water management and economy of use
• Waste generation, management and disposal
• Noise reduction, evaluation and control
(internal and external)
• Air emissions and indoor air quality
• Environmental emergency prevention and preparedness
• Transportation and travelling practices
• Staff awareness, participation and training in environmental issues • Environmental information publicity
• Public enquiry and complaints response
• Environmental management system set up, suitability and performance  Conducting an Environmental Audit
An environmental audit is typically undertaken in three phases: • Pre-audit
• On-site audit
• Post-audit
Each of these phases comprises a number of clearly defined Objectives, with each objective to be achieved through specific Actions, and these actions yielding results in the form of Outputs at the end of each phase. Environmental Audit : A Simple Guide

CONDUCTING AN
3 ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT
4
A Pre-Audit Activities
Objectives
To develop an audit plan for the on-site activities
To make the necessary preparation and arrangements
for the on-site audit
Actions
1. Develop an Audit Plan
The Audit Plan should address:
Where: audit site & boundary with overview
What: scope & objectives
How: site personnel interview, site inspection, audit
protocols; site logistics and administrative
arrangement
Who: audit team and site facilitation arrangement
When: audit schedule and milestones
The Audit Team is subsequently to:
Seek agreement from AMC on audit plan
Establish the reporting structure
An environmental audit is typically undertaken in three phases: Pre-audit
On-site audit
Post-audit
Each of these phases comprises a number of clearly defined Objectives, with each objective to be achieved through specific Actions, and these actions yielding results in the form of Outputs at the end of each phase. Tips & Hints

Audit logistics and administrative
details such as confirming
arrangements and...
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