Importance of Environmental Audit for Educational Institutions

Importance of Environmental Audit for Educational Institutions
Environmental Audit / Environmental Management System

Importance of Environmental Audit for Educational Institutions

Environmental safety and health audit were developed during the 1970s. Environmental audit is critical for industries, and companies operating in environmentally intensive sectors involving oils and chemicals. But, what about educational institutions? The growing essentiality of offering a safe environment to everyone associated with the institution has made it an indispensable choice. Green audits or environmental auditing have increased rapidly with diverse approaches and techniques. One can find various reasons behind the growth – 

  • Deadly accidents – Even though accidents are prone in the industrial sector, institutions must stay proactive. In the past, there were incidents that shook Bhopal, Chernobyl, etc. One must remain careful to avoid such accidents at college, even if the magnitude of the accidents is less. Any institution having labs with chemical components must develop the infrastructure optimally. It is essential to develop effective policies and standards for environmental health and safety. The audits can help reduce the risk of unwanted accidents and emergencies.
  • Public awareness – Over the last few decades, the essentiality of developing environmental laws and regulations has increased. People have gone vocal about environmental topics, increasing their importance substantially. The public has become aware of and gone vocal about the diverse environmental and safety issues. Thus, institutions and companies must demonstrate a well-managed system, eliminating the risks.

Environment audit – Important pointers you must note

  1. An environmental audit is an effective environmental management tool. There are globally-accepted norms and certifications to facilitate the process. The audit is more than just an environmental review.
  2. The objective of the environmental audit is to review and monitor the adverse impact of certain activities on the natural components and environment.
  3. Environmental audit is a systematic, thoroughly-documented, and straightforward process with ever-increasing importance.
  4. Environment audits must be carried out at periodic intervals.
  5. The audit is a substantial compliance tool helping the authorities preserves the environment.

Defining the term – Know the technicalities

The environmental audit process focuses on assessment, survey, and analysis. All three approaches are critical and used to describe the environmental risks associated with specific activities. It contains a holistic approach toward health, safety, and environmental matters. There is no universal definition of auditing, as different companies and organizations follow different practices. 

It is a management tool having a systematic and documented approach. The objective is to evaluate the infrastructure of an institution or organization. It determines the ideal practices for environmental protection, management, etc. The aim is to safeguard the environment via – 

(i) Enhancing management control over environmental practices.

(ii) Reviewing compliance with policies and regulatory requirements of environmental protection.

Objectives of environmental auditing

The intent of environmental audits is to protect the environment and reduce potential risks to human health. Thus, it is critical for institutions dealing with young scholars. However, auditing is not the exclusive solution to achieve the environmental goal. The management tool plays a substantial role. The prime reasons behind an environmental audit are – 

  1. Determine the effectiveness of the environmental management systems, equipment, and resources.
  2. Review compliance with the existing laws and regulations related to companies and institutions.
  3. Reduce human exposure to environmental risks, health threats, and safety hazards.

Why is it critical for educational institutions and colleges?

National Assessment and Accreditation Council, or NAAC, got introduced by the University Grants Commission, or UGC, in September 1994. It was established in Bangalore. NAAC evaluates the performance and operational quality at the universities and colleges in India.

  • The NAAC accreditation is mandatory for all colleges in the country. The grade provided by NAAC is significant for state universities. Why? Because they necessitate the NAAC grade to operate and maintain their reputation. The NAAC accreditation assists a university to apply for UGC grants, RUSA grants, financial donations, etc. 
  • The NAAC accreditation checks and determines the performance and grade of the educational institution. The NAAC grade reflects the academic quality as well. It also focuses on the learning infrastructure, research opportunities, environmental aspects, etc. 
  • An environmental audit is critical for an academic institution. One needs it to determine and implement the best practices, as expected by the National Assessment and Accreditation. The audit reports show the best ways of natural resources and energy management. The reports reflect if the campus is wasting natural resources and adversely influencing the environment.

A commendable report from the environmental auditors ensures optimal environmental sustainability at the institution. It also covers other substantial environmental aspects that matter in an institution. 

Benefits you must note – Learn the essentiality of the audit

Based on the audit reports, academic institutes can implement the best strategies for environmental management. It is vital to make the campus suitable for students, teachers, and everyone associated. It also assists the college determine the wastage volume. One can consider various recycling techniques and projects. It facilitates the process of developing a sustainable ecosystem at the institution. One can minimize wastage and develop a suitable system for environmental management. 

  1. The goal of the audit is to promote the best practices for environmental sustainability.
  2. It minimized the possibilities of potential health hazards and risks at the institution.
  3. Ensure optimal compliance with the norms and standards in the environmental management system with the audit.
  4. The audit promotes the ideal protocols to develop a sustainable ecosystem and risk-free ambiance.
  5. With accurate audit reports and proactive consultations, the institutions can recognize industry-specific and cost-effective techniques for waste management.
  6. It assists academic institutes to develop and encourage an enhanced learning ecosystem with optimal care toward environmental safety.
  7. The audit reports help develop and promote a credible brand for the institution.

Closing advice

If you hold a professional position at an institution, you must find a credible solution for audit services. It is essential to conduct annual or periodic environmental audits at the campus. Now you know the prime benefits of the audit. Make a prudent choice for the institute with IRQS. IRQS delivers top-grade audit service and helps you leverage the benefits of a systematic service with an experienced team.