Environmental auditing in transition — Yesterday, today, and tomorrow
Environmental auditing has evolved rapidly over the last decade — first in North America, then Europe, and most recently in Asia — into a widely practiced discipline designed to provide senior management with assurance that operations are being managed in compliance with established governmental standards, internal company policies, and good industry practices. This paper first examines the evolution of environmental auditing, focusing in particular on three interlocking driving forces: company initiatives, collaborative industry initiatives, and government initiatives. Characteristics of effective audit programs, those that have emerged among the leaders, are discussed, including: objectives, scope, coverage, approach, staffing, and organizational considerations. The author then addresses important future trends and developments for environmental audit program design, content, and coverage.