Environmental planning and auditing
Performing an environmental audit and developing an Environmental Management System (EMS) can be useful in focusing your environmental strategies on areas of your business that will benefit most.
What is an environmental audit?
An environmental audit highlights how your business affects the environment and sets a benchmark for improvement. You can also use an EMS in conjunction with your audit to introduce processes and procedures that will assist your environmental strategies.
An environmental audit is useful for finding the areas of your business that impact the most on the environment. It is also an effective risk management tool for checking how effectively your business acts in accordance with environmental regulations.
An environmental audit assesses the nature and extent of harm to the environment caused by the activities, waste or noise from your business. Use the audit as a tool to help you:
- assess how you can manage or improve the condition of the environment
- prioritise what actions you can take to reduce your impact on the environment
- demonstrate accountability to third parties such as government, customers and shareholders.
Environmental audits must be independent, objective, credible and transparent in order to be successful. Audits should also be regular and ongoing, and conducted against a benchmark or initial assessment, generally detailed in your environmental plan.
Planning and auditing in your state or territory
Australian Capital Territory
- Visit the Department of the Environment and Sustainable Development's webpage on Environment protection legislation and policies.
New South Wales
- General information on Environmental protection and your business can be found on the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water website.
- The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water also provides information on Cleaner production and efficient resource use.
- See the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water's Compliance Audit Handbook (PDF 0.54MB) for information on the general procedures involved in being audited.
- The NT Department of Environment and Natural Resources provides information on the Environmental regulatory reform program.
- Information on Waste & Pollution can be found on the NT Environment Protection Authority website.
- Environmental assessments are provided on the NT Environment Protection Authority website.
- Use the ecoBiz Tools.
- Visit the ecoBiz Queensland website for more environment monitoring resources.
- Find information on EPA-South Australia
- Read about environmental audits in the EPA's Protection for voluntary environmental audits (PDF 0.15MB) publication.
- Visit the Tasmanian Environmental Protection Agency website.
- The TAS Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment provides information on Waste Management and Waste and recycling.
- Find out about environmental auditing on the VIC Environment Protection Authority website.
- See Business Victoria's Finding help for an environmental audit webpage for information on auditing.
- Find out more about environmental regulation on the WA Department of Environment Regulation website.
- Learn more about the types of Environmental Monitoring available at the ChemCentre website.
What to do...
- Go to our Minimising your impact page.
- Download the Profiting from Environmental Improvement in Business information kit.
- Download the Product Innovation: The Green Advantage publication from the Department of the Environment website.
- Find out more about environmental reporting by visiting our Reporting page.