What is the Difference Between Environmental Audits and Inspections?
Environmental audits and inspections are two distinctly different things which go hand-in-hand together in order to ensure that a business minimises the chances of damaging or negatively impacting the environment in some way. Both need to be performed regularly and thoroughly by the company in order for their environmental controls to be effective and fit for purpose.
But what is the difference between the two? An environmental inspection is typically concerned with hazard identification. A company will perform an inspection during its environmental risk assessment process, indentifying potential or actual risks to the surrounding environment.
Just as a financial audit checks the current processes that are involved in the financial transactions for the company, an environmental audit is performed to assess the effectiveness of current controls, processes and procedures regarding environmental safety and the prevention of an incident taking place. If they are deemed not to be sufficient or flag up improvements for further reducing the likelihood for an accident happening, then remedial steps can be taken based on these findings.
Companies are increasingly aware of their environmental responsibilities both with regards to applicable legislation for the region and in terms of the damage to their brand image that can occur if they are seen to harm the environment. It is for reason that environmental training and qualifications like the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate are gaining in popularity so much.