CONDUCTING AN ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT
Now that your hotel Environmental Policy is in place and the hotel's Environmental Team has been established, it is time to take action. But before any action is decided upon it is important to understand the problems you face. Below you will learn what an Environmental Audit is, what to audit, where to look for problems, and how to measure and record those problems.
An Environmental Audit is a systematic, documented, periodic and objective process that assesses an organization's activities and services in relation to :
- Assessing compliance with relevant statutory and internal requirements
- Facilitating management control of environmental practices
- Promoting good environmental management
- Maintaining credibility with the public
- Raising staff awareness and enforcing commitment to departmental environmental policy
- Exploring improvement opportunities
- Establishing the performance baseline for developing an Environmental Management System (EMS)
To understand as many of the environmental impacts of the hotel building and
operation and quantify a benchmark to measure progress.
1. Obtain committment from the directorate level and communicate the purpose of the Environmental Audit to all personel in the organization.
2. Define the scope of the Environmental Audit including a list of all sites that are to be audited. Identify the objective of the audit and what areas of the organization the audit should include or disclude.
3. The Environmental Audit should encompass the following:
- Material management, savings and alternatives
- Energy management and savings
- Water management and economy of use
- Waste generation, management and disposal
- Noise reduction, evaluation and control
(internal and external)
- Air emissions and indoor air quality
- Environmental emergency prevention and preparedness
- Transportation and travelling practices
- Staff awareness, participation and training in environmental issues
- Environmental information publicity
- Public enquiry and complaints response
- Environmental management system set up, suitability and performance
- Building environmental performance
4. Examine and document all potential environmental impacts.
Below is a flowchart provided by the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department depicting all the steps of conducting and Environmental Audit .
Figure 1: Flowchart depicting Environmental Audit process.
Now that you understand how to conduct an Environmental Audit you can
direct your environmental team to conduct an audit. For more information please see the links to related resources on the right side menu or in the references section below.
1. Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department, What is an Environmental Audit?, 2002.