Environmental Audits: a management tool to achive in environmental certification – 1992
Artigo publicado e apresentado no Congresso ABES – 1992
Autores: Cristina Knapp, Michel Epelbaum e Jair Rosa Claudio
The environmental certification of products and of environmental management systems is becoming a reality among countries member of the E. C. (European Community) in order to guarantee Good Environmental Practices in products life cycle. One of the means for obtaining this environmental certification is the implementation of an Environmental Management System together with an Audit Cycle Programme in order to promote continuous improvements in the environmental performance of industrial activities. The article discusses the environmental management systems implementation procedures and “The Eco Management and Audi t Scheme” Regulation and, the auditing procedures to achieve an effective environmental management system. Finally it discusses the approaches of environmental audits in large Multinational Corporation operating worldwide and the approach of
environmental audits in Brazil’s legislation.
The managerial mind in the environmental field began to change as a result of an accident in Bhopal, India, where a leakage of a toxic gas took the lives of over 2.000 people. That gave rise to a discussion on the company’s responsibilities in the country where their sites were settled. The compliance to local legislation and requirements was not enough, regardless of the legal requirements. Today, such policies are sometimes more restrictive than local requirements. Such procedure has allowed companies to standardize the environmental practices on their sites.
From the accident involving ship Exxon Valdez in Alaska, where a leakage of oil of gigantic proportions occurred, the discussion has reached broader dimensions. Having polices and internal guidelines in which only systems of environmental protection within the physical limits of the site were verified was not enough; it was also necessary to include external practices, such as materials transportation, raw materials and waste disposal, among others. Those practices have also been
incorporated into the environmental polices of industries.
New concepts and theories on management are being incorporated, such as the theory of quality. And, either as a result of the market’s pressure, or of a growing awareness that the productive sector should be responsible for environmental protection and man’s health, new concepts in environmental management have arisen, gradually incorporating it into the managerial strategy and production costs.
Owing to this, innumerable corporations in a wide range of fields and countries have developed their own policies and established guidelines and programmes on environmental protection.