Environmental Audit

An Environmental Audit is a systematic, objective evaluation of environmental performance. The aim of an Environmental Audit and the scope and depth of work involved can vary widely. An audit should seek to establish legal compliance, or it may be used to identify areas for risk reduction, performance improvement and cost reduction.

One of the reasons that any organization would implement an Environmental Management System would be to ensure compliance with any relevant legislation, either UK or European.  The simplest way of checking this would be to carry out an audit. 

‘Environmental audit is the systematic, documented verification process of objectively obtaining and evaluating audit evidence to determine whether specified environmental activities, events, conditions, management systems, or information about these matters conform with audit criteria, and communicating the results of this process to the client’. ISO 14010:1996. 

The benefits of this audit process should include legal compliance and environmental efficiency.  To implement the Environmental Management System the company would carry out an initial environmental review; in many ways this is very similar to an audit.  When the Environmental Management System is in place to “say what you do” the audit checks that you “do what you say”.


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©2006 David Darlington
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