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September 2023 Events
Auditing Alliance Forum - Monthly Discussion Group
Details and registration available below for these events
Auditing Alliance Forum
Monthly Discussion Group
FREE, Open to Everyone!
(You need to register)
Date: Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Time: 12pm - 1pm ET
The Auditing Alliance Forum is a discussion group that meets monthly.
September 2023 Topics:
In the News
Beginning in September, we will be changing the Forum format a little. Each month the discussion will begin with "In the news". This will focus on stories gleaned from the news, with the discussion focused on the EHS risk and auditing.
This is complimentary*, but registration is required.
*Member Benefit: This event qualifies for one hour of continuing education credit for Auditing Alliance members.
Look What you Missed!
Ethical Standards for EHS Auditors
BEAC and other professional standards will be reviewed. This interactive discussion will solicit input for ethical standards for EHS auditors. This will begin the process to formalize the standards. Input for changes and updates will be solicited during and after the virtual event.
Ethics - Greenwashing
This virtual presentation will focus on greenwashing. As EHS has
evolved and ESG is front stage, reliability, accuracy and completeness
of information shared with stakeholders has never been more significant.
No matter your role within your organization, this is an important
The interactive virtual event will be based on excerpts from
CSR/Sustainability/ESG reports and include a discussion of the role of
EHS/EHS professionals and auditors.
Psychological Safety in the Workplace
The Role of ISO 45003
Companies that strive for a strong workplace culture to sustain quality and safety performance are using ISO 45003 guidelines to support psychological health and promote well-being in the workplace.
Join Bill Barnes, Integrated Senior Lead Assessor at LRQA, for an introduction into ISO 45003 that will focus on three areas of workplace risks:
How work is organized
Workplace safety/work environment
Bill will explain how you can apply ISO 45003 guidelines into your ISO 45001 OHS management system in the areas of hazard identification, risk assessment, operational controls, performance objectives, internal audit, and management review. Bill will also explore the connections between ISO 45001 and the quality management system standard, ISO 9001, which require organizations to consider specific business risk factors.
Vendor Auditing "Is Still a Thing"
(Wellof Course…Waste/Spent Materials Vendors are Probably the *Most* Important External Elements of Any Organization’sSustainabilityandSupply Chain Efforts!)
Jeffrey A. Sacre
Executive Director of CHWMEG, Inc.
Us “old-timers” will remember how CERCLA got everyone’s attention focused on waste (and recycling!) vendors. The USEPA created “motivation” for organizations to become more aware of the risk factors associated with their vendors (extracting large sums of $$$ from PRPs – potentially responsible parties – for CERCLA investigations and cleanups).
Over time, the “motivation” shifted from liability management/loss control (“best management practice”) to stewardship and sustainability initiatives. Now with supply chain due diligence *obligations* loomingin somejurisdictions(Europe and elsewhere), the “best management practice” of vendor auditing may be transitioning into mandatory requirements. Let’s discuss and share stories during this session.
Ecofriendly option to address a safety issue. The curb is "marked" using plants instead of paint.
Welcome to the Auditing Alliance
How an Audit Program Can Add Value
The Boston Environmental Group
There was a time—and in some companies it still exists—when companies had to justify the resources—both human and financial—associated with their auditing function. These companies identified what value-added services the audit program can bring to their organizations. And, they continue to provide such services that are viewed by both facility managers and senior management as enhancing the value of the audit program.
Some examples of these value-added services include:
Identifying and communicating
Best practices across the corporation
Audit trends across the corporation
Key findings or issues by functional area, such as waste management
Key findings or issues by topic area, such as confined space entry
Trends by business area or geographic area
On-line sharing of information
Model facility programs/practices/procedures
Developing “advisories” when significant issues are identified during audits or areas in need of significant attention are noted, such as
EHS training (how to develop a training matrix, what should be included in the matrix, initial and refresher training, comprehension and competency evaluations, etc.)
Machine guarding (examples of preventive maintenance programs, inspections, inventories, etc.)
Periodically soliciting feedback from key stakeholders as to how the audit program can provide more value to their business/operations.
By Jordan Mangham
Note from Founder: Ms. Jordan Mangam is a 2022 high school graduate heading to Kennesaw State University in the fall. She will be studying computer science, but has a strong interest in fashion and a vested interest in the environment.
Sustainable Fashion only takes up a small part of the fashion world while, a huge part of it is dominated by Fast Fashion. Fast fashion is a term used to describe a highly profitable business model based on replicating catwalk trends and high fashion designs, and mass-producing them at low cost. Fast Fashion companies focus on getting their clothing items manufactured cheaply and efficiently in workshops. While Fast Fashion brands are more affordable and more size inclusive, supporting and buying from Sustainable Fashion brands contributes to making the planet a better place, as well as helping humanity become more ecofriendly.
If you can’t afford to purchase sustainable brands there are still ways to support Sustainable Fashion. For example, you can decrease the amount of clothing you buy and how often you go shopping. An easy way to start is by creating a budget or schedule for yourself when you go clothes shopping. Upcycling* is a fun way to repurpose and use articles of clothing in new projects. There are many DIY projects using old pieces of clothing to give them a second life. For example, turning old t-shirts into a quilt or making a pillow from ties. Links are provided at the end of the article for additional upcycling ideas.
Donating and selling clothing that has been well cared for are other options. Keep in mind that while donating clothing makes us feel good, often it ends up in landfills around the world, include the US.
Don’t forget renting. Whether you are looking for special occasion clothing or everyday items, this option is becoming more popular. You can rent for a single event or subscribe and swap out new items monthly.
In today’s day and age becoming more environmentally friendly is key to preserving life on earth. Climate change, global warming, pollution, and so much more, continue to negatively affect all life on earth. Smog and air pollution in cities and trash in oceans and rivers kill off millions of plants and animals and contributes to worsening health problems for people. While there have been strides to combat environmental issues in several countries, overall environmental progression has been slow. Small changes in our daily lives, including Sustainable Fashion, contribute to improving life on this planet and making it more sustainable.
Easy ways to support Sustainable Fashion without breaking the bank:
Decrease the amount of clothing you purchase and how often you buy
Only purchase the clothing you need
Choose clothing from eco-friendly and sustainable brands
Repurpose older clothing (DIY projects)
Donate or sell used clothing
Take care of clothing so it lasts longer
Mend small tears and holes in clothes
Tips for taking better care of your clothing:
Wash clothing on cold temperatures
Wash clothing less often or in moderation
Pay attention to the care labels on clothes
Wash clothing inside out
Store clothing properly and don’t overfill your wardrobe
Ask yourself ‘Does this really need to be washed?’ (If the garment is dirty or smelly you should definitely wash it but if not it may be best for your clothes to skip the wash)
*Upcycling: Taking something that is no longer used and giving a new life and/or new function.
Comments from Julie Thompson, Auditing Alliance Founder:
At first glance this subject may not seem to relate to EHS auditing. There is a relationship. A direct connection exists with the use of sustainable clothing in the workplace. Multiple companies offer ecofriendly uniforms and others offer sustainable non-uniform clothing. Organizations have opportunities to educate their workforce regarding purchasing decisions which consider sustainable aspects. Though this may seem minor, it may also speak to management's commitment to the environment. Does your EHS audit program include a look at sustainable clothing?
EHS Audit Programs: Time for a checkup?
Lawrence B. Cahill, CPEA
August 2, 2020
With the advent of a worldwide pandemic, many corporate environmental, health and safety (EHS) audit programs have been put on full hiatus or modified substantially. The pandemic has also caused organizations to reconsider how audits are conducted. That is, are there ways to decrease the risk exposure of both the auditors and those being audited? Given the current situation, it might be the right time to take a critical look at an audit program, to determine its effectiveness and efficiency, and to explore possible improvements and adjustments.
a world where cultures and economies are increasingly interconnected,
technological advances have allowed people from across the globe to
communicate with each other without leaving the safety of their homes.
The advantages of modern technologies present themselves daily in the best
of circumstances, but they have been indispensable during the last few
months due to the global pandemic. In particular, many professions are
finding that virtual meetings and remote work provide unexpected
benefits, and it may become more routine in the future to rely on cyber
communication rather than in-person interactions. One such profession is
auditing, where remote audits, or e-audits, are necessary due to
restrictions on travel and face-to-face meetings. There are advantages
and challenges to remote audits, and it is likely they will become
commonplace in the years to come.
After you have written your document, edit it. Then edit it again. Ask someone else for constructive criticism. Then read it out loud. Reading the "final product" out loud often identifies opportunities to make it better, even if it looked fine on the page.
Business Etiquette Tip
Introduce yourself and others. Not knowing a participant in a small group can be awkward. If someone you know joins a small group, make a point to introduce them to the group and provide some context. For example, "This is Ann Smith. She works in the payroll department." or, "I would like you to meet Barry Jones. I met Barry several years ago at a Chamber of Commerce event."
If you join a small group, wait for an appropriate pause in the conversation and introduce yourself.
While introductions may not be appropriate as part of large virtual meetings, if the group is small or there are breakout rooms, introductions are polite and helpful.
Are you heading to the airport? Are you carrying hand sanitizer over 3 oz.? Due to COVID-19, hand sanitizer up to 12 oz. are allowed in carry-on luggage. You will need to remove this from your bag when going through security, even if you are TSA PreCheck.
Members can view prior Business Writing, Business Etiquette and Travel Tips by clicking here:
Do you have a writing, etiquette or travel tip to share? Email Julie@AuditingAlliance.org to share it with other EHS professionals.
The Auditing Alliance (Alliance) fills the need for a membership organization dedicated to the development, practice and promotion of environmental, health and safety (EHS) auditing, including PSM. If you are an EHS auditor or it may be in your future, this is the organization for you. This organization also welcomes EHS managers, risk professionals and those in related fields. The Alliance is open to individuals, including students, retirees and organizations. No matter the sector you work in, public and private sectors employees as well as consultants, lawyers and other professions are welcome. Whether you are an individual or your organization is small, medium or large, you are encouraged to join and participate. If you are evaluating compliance or management systems, the Alliance provides learning opportunities and resources for EHS auditors.
Working together we can elevate the EHS audit profession, encourage potential future auditors, and improve EHS impacts and results.
To that end, the Alliance provides opportunities to learn, connect, share and grow professionally.
While the focus of the Alliance is EHS auditing, related disciplines such as sustainability, corporate social responsibility, product stewardship and security will also be covered.
Members gain access to full articles, tip sheets, checklists, book reviews, health & wellness information, and more!
Not ready to join, but want to know about upcoming events? If you would like to receive information clickemail me.
VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS POSE EHS AUDIT QUESTIONS
Larry Cahill, CPEA, recently taught "Overview of EHS Auditing" for a graduate student class at Villanova University. A couple of questions came up after the presentation. The questions with Mr. Cahill's responses are below. If you would like to add to this discussion, please email: Julie@AuditingAlliance.org.
How has your experiences in audits affected your outlook and method of conducting compliance audits over the years? Was there a significant change at any point?
I believe that the biggest change over the years has been the positive impact that information technology has had on the EHS audit profession. In the beginning it was all “paper” and “phone calls”. There were no commercial regulatory databases, EPA/OSHA compliance databases, or computerized audit protocols. Communications were also a lot more primitive. Emails, IM, client computerized records databases, and videoconferencing have all made for a much more efficient and effective process. To say nothing of laptops, smart phones, and tablets. My first “portable” computer weighed 25 pounds! Millennials likely don’t quite appreciate what these advances have done to improve auditing but I can assure you that we Boomers do. I look forward to how technologies like drones, Google glasses, and the like will impact the process on any type of audit. We have only scratched the surface on these newer technologies.
You mentioned returning to traditional audits post-COVID, do you think remote audits have a future use beyond the pandemic? Specifically, have you found any benefit to having a remote audit (even if it is not replacing a full traditional audit) and do you think having them extensively throughout the pandemic period will have a major effect on future operations?
I believe that remote audits are definitely here to stay. They were actually starting to appear prior to COVID. Companies found that the approach was useful and cost-effective, especially for low-risk sites and/or sites located in remote or high-risk locations/countries. Some of these sites might never have been audited historically, as audit programs with limited resources would focus on high-risk sites, appropriately so. Remote audits allow the corporate audit program to “touch” these locations in some form. However, I don’t believe that remote audits will ever replace the traditional audit for mainstream manufacturing or processing operations. There is something about being on site that allows an auditor to truly assess compliance. There is also the option of conducting hybrid audits where only one or two auditors (locally sourced) would visit the site, backed up by a remote team and subject matter experts.
A final point. I was on a call last week where a very experienced auditor stated that for a series of remote audits that he had just completed he felt that he achieved 85% of what he could have accomplished with a traditional audit. First, based on my experience, I think that his estimate is a bit high. And second, I don’t think that even on a traditional audit that you achieve 100% of your objectives; probably closer to 90%. So if you do the simple math, a remote audit only gives corporate 75% confidence that any given remote audit provides a true and complete picture of EHS compliance and operational risks. Not sure this would be acceptable in most organizations except for low-risk sites.
AUDITING ALLIANCE FUTURE
As the Auditing Alliance grows, content and services will expand. Some of the areas targeted for expansion:
Developing standards for EHS auditing and ethics
Commenting on proposed regulations
In-person conferences, in addition to virtual events
Developing guidance for EHS auditors
Providing additional tools and resources
Develop programs to engage students and promote the EHS auditing profession
Members are encouraged to get involved with the Auditing Alliance. In addition to participating in live events, other ways to contribute include:
Participate in a working group to develop auditing standards or ethical standards
Suggest topics of interest
Volunteer to be a mentor for a student
Present at a virtual event
Write or respond to a blog
Share information about your EHS auditing program
Contribute your favorite recipe or health tip
Recommend a good read - whether a business/professional or leisure book
Message from the Founder
June 1, 2020
As the Auditing Alliance first entered my mind, I remembered a career change which occurred in the early 1990s. That was when I joined the Environmental Services department at Ryder Truck Rental. Fortunately the company was supportive of training opportunities. While I don't remember how I became aware of the (former) Environmental Auditing Roundtable (EAR), I do recall being impressed and overwhelmed after attending my first EAR conference. The content was valuable, and the members friendly, helpful and willing to share. The EAR provided cost effective, quality continuing education and the chance to connect with other EHS professionals. Conferences became not only opportunities for learning, but also reunions with friends.