Social Audits. Environmental Audit

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Assertion:

The organization minimizes its environmental impact, emphasizing pollution prevention over remediation processes. It integrates environmental factors into all elements of business decision-making, including business plans, corporate goal, program planning and strategic planning.

Environmental Regulations:

  • The organization strives to comply fully with all environmental laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which it operates.
    • Discuss applicable laws with management and the individual responsible for compliance. What procedures does the organization follow to ensure compliance?
    • Review any communication with EPA or other regulatory agencies concerning environmental laws. Perform public records search, as considered necessary.
    • Obtain management representation and attorney’s letter concerning whether any suits have been adjudicated or are pending related to environmental laws.

Environmental Policy Statement:

  • The organization has a policy statement committing it to minimizing its impact on the environment. This policy statement is communicated to all stakeholders and is freely accessible in the workplace.
    • Obtain written policy statement and discuss with management and BOD member to determine if a demonstrated commitment to the environment exists at the top of the organization.
    • Tour facilities and discuss policy statement with employees.

Environmental Management – Procedures and Programs:

  • The organization has specific procedures and programs in place to reduce the environmental impacts throughout its operations. These initiatives may include air quality control, energy conservation, land management, waste reduction and water conservation. Employees receive adequate training to assist them in implementing these procedures and programs.
    • Review documentation of specific procedures and discuss with employees. Determine the amount of training employees receive in regards to environmental procedures and programs.
    • Interview management to determine if the organization updates practices regularly as new technology and a better understanding of environmental impacts become available.
    • Determine if the organization has specific environmental objectives. How are these objectives monitored and updated?

Environmental Management – Communications:

  • The organization communicates its environmental activities and accomplishments through employee newsletters and corporate reports. In addition, the organization communicates environmental activities and accomplishments to external stakeholders through corporate environmental assessments.
    • Obtain copies of communication and discuss with employees, vendors, customers and BOD members.
    • What procedures are in place to inform in a timely manner all individuals who may be affected by conditions caused by the organization that may endanger their health, safety or environment?
  • The organization seeks, encourages and gives preference to suppliers and subcontractors whose environmental practices meet the standards the company sets for it.
    • Discuss procedures for purchasing from environmental-friendly vendors with procurement personnel.
    • Interview key vendors to determine if they have established environmental policies.

Environmental Management – Structure and Human Resources:

  • The organization has at least one staff member whose responsibilities include overseeing corporate environmental initiatives. This employee is responsible for overseeing the development of the environmental policy statement and implementing environmental programs and initiatives. The organization also encourages broad employee participation through the establishment of environmental committees.
    • Discuss with management and document understanding of the structure of the organization’s environmental programs. Is the structure appropriate for the size and nature of the organization?

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