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Green and Environment Audit

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Introduction- Environmental Audits

Organizations conduct environmental audits to verify adherence to the tribunal's environmental policies. It aids in reducing environmental risks that as corporate activity risks. By analyzing the locations, range, and pertinent activities, it conducts its survey and ascertains the types of pollutants being produced.

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This is a complex procedural aspect that aids the industry in adhering to rules currently in place, evaluating risks, determining how effective management systems are, and identifying the appropriate environmental dangers.

It looks at the revenue account, the cost of the resources that are available, and the values listed in the books of accounts.

Environmental loss occurs on many levels as a result of environmental degradation. To comply with the audit mechanism of the authorities, steps such as the adoption of new, environmentally friendly technology, strategies for increasing forestation, and ecological restoration techniques, among others, must be taken.

The environment auditors are the person who is responsible for reviewing the company's policies and processes that must be followed, conducting field investigations, verifying the organization's compliance with environmental laws and regulations, and preparing data and audit results reports.

They assess if the business met with regulatory criteria like ISO3166-2, a pricey and in-depth standard established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The environmental auditors conduct environmental management audits to determine whether the business has adhered to its environmental objectives, policies, and performance in relation to many aspects of its operations, including air quality and wastewater management audits, among others.

Green Audits

The Green Audit is a record-keeping and verification procedure used to understand and assess whether organizations, universities, etc. are adhering to ecologically friendly practices and Tribunal-established standards.

It is the process of methodically discovering, documenting, and reporting an organization's environmental diversity resources. The main emphasis continues to be on identifying the consumption of energy in various forms, such as liquid, electricity, and disposal of hazardous waste, solid waste, and e-waste, as well as the planting of plants and trees around the campus area and the evaluation of how much carbon dioxide is being released and how much is being sequestered and practices and measures like how much oxygen is being released to curb the hazardous impact of it.

Relevance and significance of an environmental audit report

At present, the government made mandatory provision that needs to look into due to the following reasons such as:

  • The law requires environmental audits in connection with pollutants being generated.
  • To reduce insurance and environmental liability costs.
  • To reduce significant expenditures on modern equipment and facilities.
  • To reduce environmental issue investigation costs as a result of the organization’s default in compliance with the legal provisions.
  • To maintain the company's positive reputation.
  • Remarkable anecdotes from the past.

The environmental auditing program was started as a result of environmental incidents, whereas other programs were started as a result of an organization's aim to foresee and stop possible issues before they arise. The auditing process reveals the organizational weaknesses and suggests solutions. An organization that is committed to acting on the findings of the audit will reap enormous benefits from a properly done audit. 

The organization should try its best to protect itself from potential environmental liabilities. The premium is paid by the polluting Organization to protect against potential damages being imposed by Tribunals for damages arising from their operation. In the present scenario, it has become extremely difficult to obtain worthwhile insurance coverage at a reasonable cost that can take preemptive measures to curb pollution and related damages.

For some organizations, the fear and potential consequences that the people living in the surrounding areas of the organization being founded might encounter is the main issue they are facing when trying to acquire land for their operations.

Although conducting an audit can be a time-consuming and expensive procedure, small organizations may benefit from an internal audit, which is often ineffective.

Environmental policies of the government 

For the purpose to curb Environmental Pollution that it might cause by Industries there are various guidelines and enactments that have been made by the Indian Legislature such as:

  • The National Forest Policy, 1988
  • National Conservation strategy and policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992
  • The National Water Policy, 2000
  • The National Population Policy, 2000

However, the National Environmental Policy, 2006 was designed to bring under the scope of its goal of zero environmental pollution in order to bring management to the industry to execute various measures and take preventive measures effectively to bring management and Zero Environmental pollution.

The requirement for a clean and safe environment is made under Articles 48A and 51A(g) of the Indian Constitution, and judicial interpretation regarding this is provided under Article 21. This policy was introduced by the government with the National Environment Policy goal, which explains the current perception of the environmental difficulties of the time:

  • Conservation of Critical Natural Resources as the safeguarding and preservation of important ecological systems, natural resources, and cultural artifacts, including all those things required for societal advancement, economic progress, and general well-being.
  • Ensuring fair access to all segments of society, with a special emphasis on underdeveloped populations and species that depend most heavily on natural resources for survival.
  • To fully satisfy the needs of the current generation while thoughtfully considering the needs of future generations.
  • To satisfy the demand for inclusive growth of all development sectors, inclusive plans programs, and policies are being established for socioeconomic advancement.
  • To make environmental protection resources, organizational partnerships, technology, and managerial skills more effective.

The regulation adheres to the idea of sustainable development through strong law, public bodies’ actions, and examination strategies. Everyone has the right to fair treatment and growth, including the next generation.

The "Polluters Pays" legal civil liability that creates the regulations takes the following measures:

  • Fault-based Liability:- The organisation would be required to pay compensation for any harm caused by its violation of environmental policies.
  • Strict Liability:- The organisations are held accountable for any harm caused by these parties' failure, even in the absence of a breach of legal obligations or reasonable care.

The following is a list of the environmental conservation measures that must be implemented:

  • Integration of traditional methods and technology through study and development.
  • The adoption of multi-level strategies with locals, government entities, and organizations to reclaim the degrading forest.
  • Developing a strategy and action plan for restoring environmental values.
  • Preservation and conservation of resources related to biodiversity
  • Protection of endangered wildlife, plants, and other species.

Past evidence

The Union Carbide case, which occurred in Bhopal on December 3, 1984, and involved the escape of around 40 tonnes of lethal methyl isocyanide (MIC) gas from the pesticide factory of Union Carbide India Ltd. India's demand for $3.3 billion was settled by the court at a cost of $470 million against UCC.

Because of this, the groundwater is still contaminated, and the Supreme Court has ordered the state government to provide clean water facilities for people because the contaminated water still has a significant negative impact on people's physical and mental health.

Additionally, soil contamination poses major health risks, results in serious issues, and gives birth to infants with birth defects among the local population.

Because of this, a Bhopal court found Union Carbide's India subsidiary guilty of negligence in the catastrophe in 2010.

Conclusion

Environmental audits identify the organizational weak points in conducting appropriate tests and implementing expertise and equipment to meet the environmental zero pollution aim. The way in which organizations choose to undertake research and focus on a certain area of pollutants, such as packaging and waste management, energy loss reduction, water pollution, etc., has changed due to technological improvement, and this change has been extended to all other areas as well.

The Companies concentrate primarily on a specific line of activity that offers them greater benefits, such as the organic method of production. The audit examines business policies, operating methods, and behaviors that have an effect on the environment at various industry locations and on worldwide issues.

Companies that project an "environmentally friendly" image, gain an advantage in the marketplace; therefore, it's important to not only communicate environmental development processes but also to keep up with organizational changes that result in "environmental-friendly products and production processes."

The Organization needs to be aware of the methods through which it can be examined, recorded, and applied that are ecologically friendly. 

Additionally, there are numerous credible pieces of evidence that demonstrate how polluting activities can be decreased and eliminated through the development of technological resources, energy-efficient technologies, and clever actions to bring about changes. Because of this, environmental auditing has evolved into a crucial component of any organization.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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Author
Sagar Sharma
I have over 8 years of experience working in product regulatory compliance. Currently, I work as the operations head at Corpseed Ites Pvt Ltd, where my Job role is providing best in class consulting in the field of product compliance.

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