Environmental Auditing and Reporting
The first session introduces you to the different types of environmental audit, what they aim to achieve, and how they differ from similar activities such as reviews and inspections. It goes on to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of auditing in more detail.
Session Two explores the preparation work that must be carried out by you as a manager responsible for initiating audits (that is, the client). Client responsibilities and activities are listed in paragraph 4.2.4 of ISO 14011. The session begins by discussing the selection of auditors, including making a decision on whether to use members of staff or external auditors. It then considers the importance of reaching agreement with the auditor about the objectives and scope of the audit.
Session Three discusses the activities that the lead auditor must undertake in preparation for the audit. They include the collection of relevant documents, the compilation of checklists of questions, and the drawing up of an audit specification. Depending on the size of your organisation, you may be required to take on the role of lead auditor. Even if this is not the case, as an environmental manager you will need to know what is involved in planning an audit so that you can give the necessary support and assistance to the lead auditor.
Session Four offers guidance on carrying out the audit, including the opening meeting and the methods you, in the role of auditor, should employ when interviewing, making observations and note-taking.
Session Five explores methods available to evaluate the audit findings and present them to the management of the organisation. It discusses both oral reporting, as in the closing meeting, and written reporting, as in the audit report.
Organisations are finding that communicating with their stakeholders about environmental performance is becoming increasingly important as more people and organisations become interested in the environment. This sixth session looks at the different types of environmental reports available, the reasoning behind publishing them, what they should contain and how they should be compiled to suit different audiences.