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Project in Internal

Research Paper about Environmental Audit

Submitted by: Bena B. Jagonob

Submitted to: Mr. Bob Agustin Gelacio, CPA
Insights about the Research Paper:
Organisations are increasingly recognising their social responsibility and the importance of
sustainable development. To highlight responsible behaviour, firms may publicly disclose environmental
information through corporate annual reports, websites and stand-alone reports (Darnall et al., 2009;
Parker, 2005; Bae and Seol, 2006)

Results indicate that companies conduct environmental audits to: identify problems; improve
compliance; train and educate employees; and improve corporate image.

While several studies have focused on environmental audits in more developed countries (Bae and Seol,
2006; Chiang and Lightbody, 2004; Darnall et al., 2009; Tilt, 2001; Simnett et al., 2009), little is known
about environmental auditing in developing nations. Environmental issues affect all countries. However,
small developing countries (SDCs) face financial constraints that may hinder their ability to manage
environmental issues and conduct environmental audits. In addition, international accounting practices
are strongly influenced by more developed nations (see for example Mir and Rahaman, 2005).
Consequently, the experience of a SDC may be quite different from that of a more developed nation or a
larger developing country.

Environmental auditing differs from financial auditing in several ways. In particular, the former is
voluntary while the latter is mandatory for public companies and government departments. Since
environmental audits are costly to implement (Bae and Seol, 2006), it may be inferred that they are
conducted when their benefits exceed their costs

A waste audit is an analysis of your facilitys waste stream. It can identify what types of recyclable
materials and waste your facility generates and how much of each category is recovered for recycling
or discarded. Using the data collected, your organization can identify the feasibility of enhancing its
recycling efforts and the potential for cost savings.

Your organizations waste hauler or local government may be willing to conduct a waste audit.
Contact your waste hauler to learn more about the services it provides. Also consider joining the
EPAs free WasteWise program, which provides members with several benefits, including a technical
assistance team that will help your organization conduct a waste audit and identify waste reduction
For listings of recycling service providers near your city, visit Earth 911s Business Resources
directory and the Environmental Yellow Pages.
Calculate the environmental benefits of recycling.
For a comprehensive discussion of waste and use reduction, see EPAs Resource Conservationsection
on reduction and reuse.


Recycling and composting can save money through avoided disposal and hauling costs. Many
recyclable items can also be sold on the market as a source of revenue. A waste audit can help your
organization identify these potential savings and revenue opportunities. Many companies have found
significant savings through their efforts to increase recycling.
In three years the Cleveland Indians cut their annual waste in half by significantly expanding their
recycling facilities to sort waste on-site. This reduced the number of trash compactor pickupsthat
cost the Indians an average of $500 eachby 64 percent from 254 pickups in 2007 to 92 in 2010,
saving the Club $50,000 annually.
The Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, NY implemented a variety of recycling and waste reduction
measures, including recycling its own cardboard and plastic wastes. These measures reduced its
annual waste generation by over 50%, saving the company over $25,000 a year in disposal and
hauling costs.
The San Diego Wild Animal Park generates over 23,000 tons of waste annually but discards only 4%
of this waste in landfills. It has implemented a comprehensive composting program for organic waste
and has distributed recycling containers throughout its 1,800 acres, in addition to many other
programs. In total, these efforts save the organization over $1 million dollars in landfilling and
hauling fees each year.
For more examples of how smart waste practices can save your organization money, see the
following websites:

New York City Recycling Case Studies Partnership Success Stories
Institute for Local Self Reliance Recycling Record Setters


Before implementing a recycling program, your organization should conduct a waste audit. During a
waste audit, the auditor investigates the sources, composition, weight, volume, and destinations of
the waste that your organization generates. Organizations exist that will perform this service free of
charge, or they can be performed in-house by staff. By learning more about the trash your
organization generates, you can be better informed about the products you buy that contribute to
waste and be prepared to efficiently dispose of it, saving your organization money and improving
your organizations environmental performance.


Performing a waste audit is an effective way to learn more about the trash your organization
generates. In order to create an accurate representation of your organizations waste stream and how
much youre currently diverting towards recycling, consider performing multiple waste audits, each
during a different season during the year.

1. Ensure proper safety measures

Provide thick gloves to sorters and make sure that everyone has had their tetanus shots. Involve the
organizations occupational health and safety director.
2. Ensure proper confidentially measures
The waste stream may contain personal and private information that should be kept confidential. Ensure
that no documents are being read during the audit, and that nothing leaves the auditing area. Have
participants sign confidentiality agreements.
3. Enlist building managers, custodial staff, and waste haulers
The help of building managers, custodial staff, and waste haulers is invaluable to a successful waste
audit. These sources can assist in gathering your organizations waste and can also provide valuable
insight into the current state of your recycling and waste management system.
4. Dont notify staff of the timing of the audit
By keeping the timing of a waste audit secret, you ensure that the waste you analyze is a truly
representative sample of the waste that your organization generates on a regular basis. If people are
informed of the date of a waste audit, they may increase their recycling rates or otherwise alter their
5. Collect waste
Work with waste haulers, custodial staff, and concessions managers to collect the waste. Make sure that
the waste collected is clearly labeled by date and location.
6. Sort waste
Sort the collected waste by type, noting paper, cardboard, recyclable and non-recyclable plastics, glass,
and metals, food waste, batteries, etc. Make sure to note recyclable materials that have not been
7. Analyze results and make recommendations
What is the composition of your organizations waste stream? How much can your organization
increase its recycling? By what methods can your organization increase its recycling? How can waste
be collected more efficiently? What are the opportunities to reduce waste generation? How can your
organization save money by altering its waste management systems?

By conducting a waste audit, your organization can be better prepared to efficiently and responsibly
dispose of the waste that it generates every day. By designing a more efficient waste disposal
program, your organization can increase the amount of paper, plastic, and metals that it recycles,
which reduces air and water pollution, helps curb global warming, and conserves our natural