An environmental audit is the inspection of a company to assess the environmental impact of its activities or a particular product as the basis for managerial decision making e.g. the audit of a manufacturing product may look at the impact of production (energy use, extraction of raw materials used in manufacturing) which may cause pollution and other hazards & disposal (potential for recycling and whether the waste causes pollution)

A checklist of environmental issues (wastes, emissions, hazardous substances, energy consumption) can be assessed for each area using observation interviews, review of documentation and records, waste management documentation, integrated pollution
control authorizations etc.

Environmental audits may focus on some particular areas like:

  • A waste audit – concerned with waste production and handling as the first step in waste minimisation programme.
  • The focus will be on safe, environmentally friendly and cost efficient handling, storage and disposal (including transport and disposal by contractors)
  • Quantities and origins of waste will be identified with an aim of reduction.
  • Waste management record keeping processes and documentation compliance (waste management license) should also be checked.
  • A water audit – concerned with water use and waste water production. A mass balance can be derived identifying, inward and outward water volumes, discrepancies may indicate leakage.

Why should we conduct a green procurement audit?

  1. Enhance implementation of the procurement process as stipulated.
  2. Measure the green procurement performance.
  3. To focus on ways to improve.
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