Environment Laws

A Complete Guide for Environmental Audit

calendar17 Feb, 2023
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
A Complete Guide for Environmental Audit

Environmental auditing, in a wide sense, strives to assist in protecting the environment and minimise risks to the environment, human safety, and health through any corporate activity. While from a firm’s viewpoint, environmental auditing tries to determine if the company has complied with environmental laws and standards and meets the environmental objectives. Environmental audits can improve a company’s reputation and cultivate a positive image. The public will view the improvement efforts as a positive approach and can result in favourable publicity. While performing auditing, one must adjust to and abide by all applicable environmental rules. Governments typically implement more stringent environmental laws and regulations through international agreements. Companies are compelled to cooperate if they wish to avoid being fined.

Objective of Environmental Auditing

Environmental Audit has several objectives, such as

  • Determine how well the business complies with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Create a performance-based framework for designing and creating an environmental management system.
  • Encourage effective environmental management.
  • Continually uphold the public trust.
  • Promote environmental policies inside the organisation and make sure they are followed.
  • Reduce the risk that environmental problems could have on your health and safety.

Principle Areas of Environmental Auditing

  • Material Audit: The main objective of a material audit is the use of diverse raw materials or the regular use of assets, cost per unit, process insight, wastage, and so on. The preservation of raw materials, logical capacity, and material reuse from waste are all considered.
  • Vitality Audit: It examines how various forms of vitality are used in various processes in any business or organisation. The core principles of review are minimisation, elimination of preventable losses of lucrative vitality, and preservation of those losses.
  • Water audit: The use of water from different sources is reported. It also emphasises the measurement of crude water consumption, adjustment of the water table, and usage of various origins.
  • Human Resources: Workers and employees are the primary resources that industries depend on. The security and well-being of those are taken into consideration at all times. Evaluating the appropriate transportation of dangerous and lethal waste, fire suppression techniques, and other issues is necessary.
  • Natural Quality Audit: Maintaining quality requires preserving every angle and stage of development. This was also generally mentioned in the review plot.
  • Trash audit: It includes the arbitrary and quantitative evaluation of the waste produced by businesses.
  • Designing Audit: Use of innovation in development that will address the right practices and create applications.
  • Consistency Audit: Consistency audits are the unique portions of evaluations that must be done in accordance with policies, procedures, and methods relevant to that industry.

Supreme Audit Institution

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, a constitutional figure, is in charge of India’s Supreme Audit Institution (SAI). The Indian Constitution’s Articles 148 to 151 give the CAG of India his authority. The CAG’s functions, duties, and powers are outlined in the CAG’s (Duties, Powers, and Conditions of Service) Act of 1971[1]. The CAG evaluates many facets of government spending and revenue while carrying out its constitutional duties. The audits carried out by CAG can be essentially divided into three categories: financial, compliance, and performance audits.

Benefits of Environmental Audit

  • A correctly implemented natural review strategy offers a wide range of benefits to the planet and an association. Which are:
  • It provides a framework for estimating and, in turn, controls natural execution.
  • It separates prospective techniques for cost reserve funds, which may be achieved by reducing the use of crude materials through methods for waste minimisation, reuse, and reuse, as well as lowering the burden of contamination on the environment.
  • It increases acquaintance with ecological structures and obligations.
  • It aids in comprehending the organisation’s inherent status and specific skills.
  • It aids in timely forewarning, the board of anticipated future concerns, and crisis planning.
  • It facilitates data exchange between businesses in related industries and, on a large scale, between comparative ventures.

Environmental Audit Protocols and Tools

The word “protocol” refers to the auditing procedures used by auditors. The audit procedure is currently computerised and puts requirements into a “not applicable” checkbox. The checklist used by s serves as a guide for actions, and other auditors utilise it together with other tools. By using “yes,” “no,” and boxes to denote answers to regulatory questions, pp y orts several variations of cols that are submitted as protocols. Over the past 20 years, technology has significantly impacted auditing with the introduction of laptop computers, CD/DVD players, the internet, and internet connectivity. These advancements have also increased auditor information and helped develop new approaches. Portable printers, email, and wireless technology have all been utilised to enhance on-site access to regulatory audit results.

How to Conduct Environmental Audit

Conducting an environmental audit includes the following

  • Describe the project
  • Audit the site and its boundaries and include an outline of its goals.
  • Site staff interviews
  • Site inspections
  • Audit protocols
  • Administrative and logistical arrangements for the audit team to work on the site,
  • An audit timetable and milestones

There are three main Environmental Audit Stages or Phases:

  • Pre-Audit
  • Audit
  • Post Audit

Phase 1: The Pre-Audit

  • Assemble the audit team with various abilities, viewpoints, and capabilities.
  • A plan for an audit
  • Obtain and examine documents, such as:
    • Applications for permits or permits
    • Reports on Production Records
    • Previous audits detailing the status of earlier audit items and corrective measures
  • Create a list of inquiries that regulators might make, as well as follow-up inquiries regarding earlier audits and requests for more materials.
  • As problems are found, start filling out the Disclosure of Violation Table.

Phase 2: The Audit

  • Establish ground rules.
  • Analyse what occurs and which problems are found.
  • Hold regular meetings to keep everyone updated.
  • Review the documents:
    • Policies
    • Compliance
    • Training
    • Controls, monitoring, and records for air, water, waste, and noise
    • Emergency Action Protocols
    • Reaction to grievances
    • Verify the accuracy, consistency, legal compliance, and timeliness of papers.
  • Inspection of the Site
  • Assessing Operation Compliance
  • Obtain samples if necessary
  • To determine whether policies are understood and applied consistently, speak with EHS staff, operations, management, and maintenance.
  • Discover problematic issues
  • Conduct a closing meeting when all issues are listed, discussed, and corrective measures are developed for each issue.

Phase 3: Post-Audit

Here, a list of proven problems and Areas of Concern as well as a list of actions and Items that require follow-up after the Environmental Audit Report has been prepared.

Conclusion

An honest review is conducted to inform organisation leaders about the functionality of the hardware and ecological Organization framework. The best practice approaches can be connected to safeguard the air, water, soil, plants, and other animal and plant life from adverse effects. The EA shouldn’t be used primarily to promote legal compliance. Environmental Auditing should be undertaken while having long-term, important goals in mind. Businesses can benefit from a detailed self-analysis of the motivations and tactics utilising innovation. A detailed audit performed under the guidance of experts while considering problem areas, particularly concerning human welfare, will benefit the business in the long run.

Read Our Article: Types Of Environmental Impact Assessment

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