For Colleges, Universities, Industries, and Urban and Rural places

We cannot improve what we cannot measure. Hence measuring our current position is the first step to knowing where we are and in which direction to move. What projects, activities, and campaigns to conduct are secondary, but what matters is where we are and which direction to take an organization and why? Once we know the What and why – How to achieve the end goal will fall in place. All individual projects and activities fall into how to do a thing, but without knowing our current state – our organization’s what and why we will not know how to streamline our efforts. It is here that Environment Audit or Green Audit plays the most important tool to understand What is the current situation and why we have to in the direction we are going and what end goal or direction we should go.

A quote related to green audit: “Today’s Wastage Is Tomorrow’s Shortage.”
Environment or Green Audit
Environment or Green Audit

What is Green Audit

The green audit is an initial part of the environmental management system, used methodologically for the protection and conservation of the environment with the core vision to ensure that sustainable development is ensured. Green Auditing, is also known as ―Environmental Auditing.
For colleges and Universities – National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) under Criterion VII, has mandated Green Audits, Energy Audits, and Environment Audit for Educational Institutions. This is for the purpose of a systematic assessment of day-to-day activity with reference to the utilization of resources.

There are at present 2 major objectives:-

1. Regulatory or Statutory Requirement – It is mandatory for colleges and universities to conduct Green Audits, Energy Audits, and Environment Audits from an agency that ISO 9001:2015 approved by the approved Accreditation Board (AB). The lead auditor should preferably be qualified personnel to conduct e.g. a Chartered Engineer (Environment), Green Building Auditor, BEE Certified Auditor, or any other Govt. approved Auditor.
2. Net Positive/ New Zero or Carbon Neutral Campus – The actual benefit from green and environment audit comes not only from complying with regulatory or statutory or qualification requirements, but achieving objective no. 2, which is to make the building of campus Net Positive. The key lies in implementing to achieve this. Here, the technical team conducting the audit, should not only be theoretical but have in-depth practical experience in undertaking the projects. This would enable the institutions, to save a huge amount of costs in electricity and water bills, optimize resources, save on manpower costs and generate new sources of revenue and opportunities.

 

OBJECTIVE

The main objective of the green audit is written below:
1. To review on a basic level, the activities, and operations of the College and identify the main
sources of resource utilization, and their environmental impacts.
2. Understand the sustainability-related initiatives undertaken.
3. Identify the gaps, best practices, or initiatives undertaken by the college.
4. As part of the audit report – share audit observations and findings along with suggestions and recommendations for the future.

WHAT ARE THE STEPS INCLUDED IN A GREEN AUDIT?

The environmental audit process includes the following steps as a minimum:
1. First step is assessing the requirements of the institutions, their current status, and their expectations and vision for their institutions, based upon which the Scoping of an Environment or Green Audit work shall be done.
2. Planning the audit, including activities to be conducted and responsibilities for each activity.
3. Review the company’s environmental protection policy and the applicable requirements, federal, state, and local requirements.
4. Assessment of the organization, it’s management and equipment
5. Gather data and relevant information
6. Evaluate overall performance
7. Identify areas needing improvement
8. Report findings to management

DIFFERENT TYPES OF AUDITS INCLUDED IN THE GREEN AUDIT

• Water audit
• Energy Audit
• Waste Audit or Material & Resource Recovery Audit
• Air quality and noise assessment
• Biodiversity Audit
• Infrastructure, site planning & outdoor environment Audit
• Health & Overall well-being Audit
• I.E.C. Activities and Institutional, Planning and Management Audit
• Carbon Accounting (Conducted for certain requirements)

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GREEN AUDITS?

1. It would help to shield the environment.
2. Recognize the cost-saving methods through waste minimization and management.
3. Point out the prevailing gaps and forthcoming problems.
4. Authenticate conforming to the implemented laws.
5. Empower the organization to frame a better environmental performance.
6. It portrays a good image of the institute/college which helps build better relationships with the group of stakeholders.
7. Ensure alertness for environmental guidelines and duties.

FINAL OUTCOMES –

1. Gather new sources of revenue from using the eco-friendly infrastructure of the institute and monetizing the same.
2. Have new and unbelievable opportunities for people in terms of jobs, training, new research papers, initiatives, and recognitions.
3. Reduce the cost substantially of new construction and maintenance or operations for old buildings.
4. Reduce carbon footprint substantially.
5. Improve the health and well-being of the users and the overall environment in the campus or buildings.