Guide your supplier towards environmentally friendly practices

Environmental audit

The lack of environmental impact monitoring of suppliers can generate significant risks at the local scale. That is, for example, the case in Bangladesh and China where the textile industry is an important cause of wastewater pollution. Today those two countries, among others, are in a situation of water stress.

 

Regarding the absence of a strong regulation and the lack of supplier’s understanding of environmental issues in developing countries, many brands have the capacity and above all the willingness to make things move. It is for those brands that AQM developed an environmental audit which allows them to guide their suppliers towards an environmental management system. 

Our goal: to assist your suppliers

The AQM environmental audit has been conceived to guide your suppliers towards environmentally friendly practices. We want, alongside you, to be part of a positive approach which takes them to a higher level.

 

If some factories are aware of environmental challenges, they do not always know where to begin to reduce their impact on the environment. Therefore, in addition to assessing their behaviour, we provide them simple and practical trainings and help them to implement an environmental management system adapted to their industry.

The design of our audit approach

Our environmental audit approach has been developed and tested in Bangladesh, close to factories and with the support of experts specialized in environmental issues such as management of chemicals, sewage treatments, reduction of greenhouse gasses… The consultation of various eco-aware brands and for some of them already active in accompanying their supplier has also contributed to improving our strategy. 

The tool for auditing

AQM’s audit grid evaluates the factory on 9 performance areas covering the same environmental themes as those defined by the Global Social Compliance Program (GSCP) such as the “environmental management system” criteria which is based on the ISO 14001 standard.  The rating system is a system of level rating based on the model proposed by the GSCP’s tools. 

 

 

 


The flexibility of the audit grid

If the initiative was born in Bangladesh, it has been designed to be implemented in a more general framework; therefore we are able to realize environmental audits in other countries where AQM is present. Environmental risks and regulations differ according to the country and the industry that is why the AQM’s environmental audit approach is first adjusted to the factory’s local and sectorial specificities.


AQM Inspection

Example of a good practice : the factory tests the water quality

The performance areas

AQM’s auditors evaluate your supplier on the following performance areas:

 

     - Legal compliance

     - Environmental Management Systems

     - Water consumption

     - Energy consumption

     - Chemical Management / hazardous materials

     - Solid and Hazardous Waste

     - Wastewater

     - Air emissions

     - Nuisances (Noise pollution, light, temperature & humidity) and other negative impacts affecting the vicinity of the factory

 

All performance areas are taken into account during the audit, however, according to the industrial sector and to the manufacturing steps, some are more critical than others for the overall rating. The aim is to highlight the most relevant environmental risks for a specified factory. 

 

 

 

A global approach: from the training to the monitoring of your supplier’s progress

AQM offers a unique proposition on the market by adapting the audit to the factory and taking actions at several levels:

 

PRIOR TO THE AUDIT: AQM adapts its questionnaire to the industry and to the country and evaluates the environmental knowledge of the factory. According to those first results, a training session can be conducted prior to the audit in order to :

   1 - Help the factory to identify the environmental issues related to its industrial sector

   2 - Allow the factory to better understand the challenges in terms of economical and environmental benefits

   3 - Give the factory the tools to achieve a sufficient audit result (level 1) for the first audit.

 

Have a look at the planning of our next training sessions here and do not hesitate to contact us at events@aqm-hk.com for more information about training.

 

AFTER THE AUDIT: AQM provides a corrective action plan and “best practices” when the factory achieved the level 1 and ensures their application thanks to a regular monitoring of the factory. An environmental management system training is also conducted by our auditors.

Identify and control risks

Several thousand kilometers away, it is not always easy to obtain unbiased information about the reality on the ground and even more difficult to clearly identify all environmental risks associated with your supplier’s activity.

 

If your supplier is audited by AQM, it will allow you to get a better understanding of its environmental impact and to get the key information to keep tight control on your manufacturing.

Build a long-term partnership

 

Thanks to AQM’s environmental audit, you can consider your business relationship more serenely and gain confidence in your supplier.

 

In addition, your supplier will know your requirements in terms of compliance with environmental standards and will have the proof that you support him in the process. This will strengthen your collaboration and his willingness to improve his environmental performance. 

Guide your supplier

In developing countries, some factories are aware of environmental issues but do not always know how to adopt more environmentally friendly practices.

 

With the AQM Audit, your supplier will take more environmental responsibility and won’t deal with that issue on his own. Our auditors will help him to implement new processes within a realistic time frame. Thanks to this follow-up you are guaranteed that the factory makes all the necessary changes and adjustments.

Make your company more responsible

Nowadays, economic actors increase their initiatives in favour of sustainable development, and it is precisely in this context that your company wants to evolve and act.

 

The AQM’s Audit allows you to effectively implement your environmental undertakings and your willingness to assist your suppliers in that field.

 

 

 

Proximity

We make every effort to listen to our customers’ needs and to their suppliers’ problems on the ground in order to provide quality service that is beneficial to both parties. 

 

 

 

 

Adaptability

As each factory is different, AQM auditors adapt their questionnaire to the factory’s industry and context in order to highlight its specific environmental risks.

A complete audit report

AQM provides an audit report which not only presents the quantitative results and the corrective actions plan, but also gives a qualitative analysis of the environmental performance of the factory. This analysis highlights the most critical risks identified during the audit but also the strengths of the factory in terms of environmental performances and describes the behavior and the potential of the management team.

The training before the audit

AQM has the particularity to provide a training of preparation to the audit for factories which request it or for those which, after the results of the questionnaire, were identified as “beginners” in terms of environmental performance management.

 

This training allows them to be better prepared to the audit in order to achieve the level 1 at their first audit.

The monitoring of progress

Rather than monitoring the implementation of the corrective measures in the factory only after the time limits for the implementation have expired, AQM proposes to establish a follow-up planning with the factory after the audit.

 

The idea is to monitor the factory’s progress through regular meetings. 

The access to a network of local players

On the ground, AQM developed a large network of local players who intervene on environmental specific issues (training organizations, consultants…).

 

AQM can act as an intermediary putting your supplier in touch with service providers. They will support them in their move towards better environmental performances.

Why should I realize an environmental audit?

By auditing your supplier you obtain a detailed mapping of the environmental risks of your manufacturing process. It will allow you to know which factories have a satisfactory environmental management system and those which need improvements.

 

If the factory does not comply with your requirements/expectations in terms of environmental risks control you will help it, via AQM, to get better by providing it a follow-up service and advice. 

 

 

 

How was the audit grid designed?

After a long comparative study on the different existing environmental audit initiatives, AQM designed its audit grid based primarily on the GSCP’s methodology but also on the strengths of each initiative studied. The performance areas and the requirements of our audit grid are aligned with standard ISO 14001.

 

In addition, the relevance of the questionnaire and guidelines was submitted to environmental experts, adapted to the requirements of CSR Manager and tested in factories.

What is the GSCP?

Le Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) is a business-driven program for companies that want to deliver a shared sustainable approach for the continuous improvement of factories.

 

In 2010, the GSCP drafted a set of Environmental Reference tools to detail the approach that should be taken by buying companies and auditors in order to conduct environmental audits.

Find out more   

Is there a hierarchy in the performance areas?

Yes! Some performance areas are more critical than others according to the industry and to the country of the factory.  Therefore, our auditors take that into account in the overall rating.

 

In addition, a particular attention is given to the existence of an environmental management system because it shows that your supplier is able to identify, monitor and limit its environmental impact.

 

 

 

 

 

What will I receive?

The audit report that you will receive includes:

 

   -  A presentation of the quantitative results and of the level achieved for each performance area

   -  A qualitative analysis of the factory’s environmental performances (risks, opportunities, management behaviour)

   -  A list of corrective actions, in order of priority, that the factory need to implement

   -  A list of “best practices” that the factory can respect when it has achieved the level 1

How do I plan an environmental audit?

You can simply book our services via email or by phone. Our team will contact you as soon as possible, to talk about your expectations and to define the date of the audit.