Environment Auditing – a Tool for Steel Plant Management...

Environment Auditing – a Tool for Steel Plant Management An integrated steel plant operates several processes which cause pollution of the environment. Steel plant management recognizes the importance of environmental matters and knows that the environmental performance of the steel plant is under scrutiny not only by the regulating authorities but also by a wide range of interested parties. Environmental audit, in general, is a methodical examination involving analyses, tests, and confirmations to verify whether the steel plant’s emissions, discharges and waste management comply with statutory requirements, internal norms and accepted practices. During the environmental audit, procedures and practices of the steel plant are also examined. Environmental audits are usually voluntary in nature and they are not the requirement which is imposed by the regulating agencies. Environmental auditing began in the USA in the early 1970s, when a handful of industrial organizations, working independently and on their own initiatives, developed environmental auditing programmes as internal management tools to help review and evaluate the status of the organizations’ operating units. It enabled managers to check compliance with (i) local environmental laws and regulations. (ii) National environmental laws and regulations, and (iii) corporate policies. It was also regarded as an activity useful for avoiding prosecution or civil law suits under the increasing pressures from environmental legislation. In the rest of the world, the evolution of environmental auditing was largely due to the influence of USA subsidiary companies operating abroad. Environmental auditing only became widely accepted by industry in the late 1980s as a common management tool in developed countries, and is increasingly being applied in developing countries by both multi-national and local industry. As organizations began to realize the value of paying attention to environmental issues, the concept of environmental auditing itself has evolved to address...