Implementing an environmental audit program in a university setting: A Recommendation for Rochester Institute of Technology

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Title: Implementing an environmental audit program in a university setting: A Recommendation for Rochester Institute of Technology
Author: Henry, Kelly
Abstract: In an effort to assure and move beyond regulatory compliance, Rochester Institute of Technology has begun implementing an environmental management system (EMS) through the RIT Strategic Environmental Management Initiative. As part of this initiative, RIT is considering implementing a comprehensive auditing program to evaluate environmental compliance and management system performance. This thesis evaluates current environmental internal audit program design and implementation practices at other colleges and universities, and compares those to standard environmental audit program implementation and design in the industrial regulated community. The thesis evaluates compliance auditing programs at seven colleges and universities of varying sizes, and environmental management system auditing programs at one ISO 14001-registered university. From this evaluation and comparison, an audit program design strategy recommendation is offered for RIT. It was found that the elements being implemented in the university setting closely mirror those recommended by industrially focused literature sources for industrial entities. At this point, these elements are effectively helping colleges and universities manage their environmental issues and ensure compliance, however, it is still too early in the process to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the industrially focused design and implementation elements being applied in the university setting. As these programs mature, colleges and universities may uncover better ways to organize and manage their audit programs than what is typically recommended for industry. RIT, as it undertakes the task of designing and implementing its internal auditing program, should find mechanisms to keep up with what practices other colleges and universities are implementing to make their internal auditing programs effective. As new design and implementation information becomes available, RIT may decide not to use the recommendations made in this thesis. In the meantime, however, RIT may use these recommendations as a starting point for its internal auditing program, and can later build upon them to reach its environmental performance goals.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/15170
Date: 2002

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