Policy & Engagement Lead Marc Jourdan provides an overview of Environmental Auditing work from 2020 and looks ahead to what's coming up in 2021.

2020 was a difficult year for all professionals, including those engaged in environmental auditing.

Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, IEMA released its Build Back Better mission statement. Stressing the value of collaboration, new technologies and the need for greater investment in skills and training, the statement highlighted how, during times of great change, sustainability must be placed at the heart of recovery plans if we are to build back better and create a more prosperous future.

For this reason, in 2020, IEMA released webinars and guidance to support members in adapting to changes in environmental auditing. Following positive response to this activity, IEMA will continue this engagement in 2021 with a dedicated programme of work focusing on both the pillars of environmental auditing and more advanced topics highlighting the interconnect with different policy topics such as climate change.

In this newsletter we are therefore bringing you a summary of key sessions and an overview of what’s coming up later this year.

Reports

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Last summer, IEMA launched a briefing paper on ‘The Value of Environmental Auditing’ to give detail on how an organization can embed and benefit from effective environmental audits, to ensure good environmental management and demonstrate the effectiveness and fulfilment of their environmental sustainability strategy in order to build back better for a green recovery.

The paper was accompanied by a document on the Golden Rules of Remote Auditing, which has been written by IEMA members and provides details on the key considerations to be made when planning and conducting audits remotely.

Click here to access the documents.

Upcoming:

It is important that senior management recognise the benefits of effective environmental auditing, support and resource the audit programme, and allocate adequate time to reviewing the output.

For this reason, IEMA members are now also developing a Senior Management Briefing on the Value of Environment Auditing to ensure they recognise how environmental audits can deliver valuable information on an organisation’s performance which, in common with other forms of business intelligence, can provide assurance or form the basis for decision-making.

The document is planned for release in the first half of 2021. Look out for more updates from IEMA.

Webinars:

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Throughout the year, IEMA led several webinars on environmental auditing to consider the impact that Covid had had on the discipline, including the changes to surveillance audits under ISO 14001 and the transition to Remote Auditing. We also hosted an introductory 101 session on environmental auditing to provide an overview of the key principles in this discipline.

Upcoming:

Following positive response by the membership to these sessions we are now planning a whole programme of sessions to run throughout 2021 and beyond.

It will include two webinar series:

- The Pillars of Environmental Auditing series will build on the EA 101 introduction session, focusing on several topics including the core competencies of planning, scoping and resourcing (session open for registration here), auditing for conformity or compliance, and root cause analysis of EA - raising and categorising findings;

- The Advanced Auditing series will focus on particular thematic issues encountered by practitioners. This will include supply chain auditing and environmental auditing in the context of achieving net zero strategies.

Running in parallel to these webinar series, IEMA will also host member engagement sessions to update professionals on the latest EA report and review of the auditor register.

Look out for more updates on all these upcoming sessions during the year!

Call for engagement:

If you are an experienced environmental auditor and wish to contribute your expertise to any of the above-mentioned sessions, or put forward your own proposals for a webinar in one of the environmental auditing series then please contact Marc Jourdan, IEMA Policy & Engagement Lead, by email at m.jourdan@iema.net.

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Marc Jourdan

Marc Jourdan is a Policy & Engagement Lead for IEMA. He leads IEMA’s work on the circular economy, and social sustainability. He also oversees the strategic direction of the IEMA Fellows network, including working group projects on a range of corporate sustainability issues from sustainable finance to disruptive technologies & the digital economy.