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Green Audit for University, College & Education Institute for NAAC Accreditation requirements

INTRODUCTION TO GREEN AUDIT



     

Green Audit


Green auditing is the process of identifying and determining whether institutions practices are eco-friendly and sustainable. The main objective to carry out a green audit is to check green practices followed by the university and to conduct a well-formulated audit report to understand where we stand on a scale of environmental soundness.

 

Modernization and industrialization are the two important outputs of the twentieth century that have made human life more luxurious and comfortable. Simultaneously, they are responsible for voracious use of natural resources, exploitation of forests and wildlife, producing massive solid waste, polluting the scarce and sacred water resources, and finally making our mother Earth ugly and inhospitable. Today, people are getting more familiar with global issues like global warming, greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, climate change, etc. Now, it is considered as a final call by mother Earth to walk on the path of sustainable development. The time has come to wake up, unite and combat together for a sustainable environment.

 

Considering the present environmental problems of pollution and excessive use of natural resources, Honorable Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modiji has declared the Mission of Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. Also, University Grants Commission has mentioned the “Green Campus, Clean Campus‟ mission mandatory for all higher educational institutes. As environmental sustainability is becoming an increasingly important issue for the nation, the role of higher educational institutions in relation to environmental sustainability is more prevalent.

 

Green Audit is the most efficient ecological tool to solve such environmental problems. It is a process of regular identification, quantification, documenting, reporting and monitoring of environmentally important components in a specified area. Through this process, the regular environmental activities are monitored within and outside of the concerned sites which have direct and indirect impacts on the surroundings. A green audit can be one of the initiatives for such institutes to account for their energy, water resource use as well as wastewater, solid waste, hazardous waste generation. The green Audit process can play an important role in the promotion of environmental awareness and sensitization about resource use. It can create consciousness towards ecological Page 5 values and ethics. Through the green audit, one can get direction about how to improve the condition of the environment.

 

 Objectives of Energy Audit

 

The Green Audit provides the vital information base for overall Energy, water and waste management program covering essentially energy utilization, environment management and activities related to sustainability. It aims at-

 

 

  • To examine the current practices which can impact the environment such as resource utilization, waste management, etc.

  • To prepare an Environmental Statement Report on green practices followed by different departments, support services, and administration building.

  • To set goals, vision, and mission for Green practices on the campus.

  • To identify and analyze significant environmental issues.

  • To establish and implement Environmental Management Plan in various departments.

  • To assess for better performance in green practices and its valuation.

 

Need for Green Audit

 

Green auditing is the process of identifying and determining whether an institution’s practices are eco-friendly and sustainable. Traditionally, we are good and efficient users of natural resources. However, over the period of time excess use of resources like energy, water, chemicals are become habitual for everyone especially, in common areas. Now, it is necessary to check whether our processes are consuming more than the required resources? Whether we are handling waste carefully? Green audit regulates all such practices and gives an efficient way of natural resource utilization. In the era of climate change and resource depletion, it is necessary to verify the processes and convert them into green and clean ones. The green audit provides an approach for it. It also increases overall consciousness among the people working in institutions towards an environment.

 

In University has conducted a green audit with specific goals as:

 

  • Assess facility of different types of waste management.

  • Increase environmental awareness throughout campus.

  • Identificationanddocumentationofgreenpracticesfollowedbyuniversity.

  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in green practices.

  • Conduct a survey to know the ground reality about green practices.

  • Analyze and suggest solutions for problems identified from the survey.

  • Identify and assess environmental risk.

  • The long-term goal of the environmental audit program is to collect baseline data of environmental parameters and resolve environmental issues.

  • To motivate staff for optimized sustainable use of available resources.

 

 About Criteria 7 of NAAC

 

Universities are playing a key role in the development of human resources worldwide. Higher education institutes campus run various activities with the aim to percolate the knowledge along with practical dimension among the society. Likewise, different technological solutions related to the environment are also provided by the higher education institutes. Different types of evolutionary methods are used to assess the problem concerning the environment. It includes Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Impact Assessment (SIA), Carbon Footprint Mapping, Green audit, etc.

 

National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is a self-governing organization that rated the institutions according to the scores assigned at the time of accreditation of the institution. Green Audit has become a mandatory procedure for educational institutes under Criterion VII of NAAC. (Criterion 7 – Institutional Values and Best Practices, sustainable metrics are to be established through environment and energy initiatives.) The intention of the green audits is to upgrade the environmental condition inside and around the institution. It is performed by considering environmental parameters like water and wastewater accounting, energy conservation, waste management, air, noise monitoring, etc. for making the institution eco-friendlier.

 

Students are the major strength of any academic institution. Practicing green action in any educational institution will inculcate the good habit of caring for natural resources in students. Many environmental activities like plantation and nurturing saplings and trees, Cleanliness drives, Bird watching camps, no vehicle day, Rainwater harvesting, etc. will make the students good citizens of the country. Through Green Audit, higher educational institutions can ensure that they contribute towards the reduction of global warming through Carbon Footprint reduction measures.

 

Benefits of Green Audit to an Educational Institute

 

       There are many advantages of green audit to an Educational Institute.

 

  • It would help to protect the environment in and around the campus.

  • Recognize the cost-saving methods through waste minimization and energy conservation.

  • Empower the organization to frame a better environmental performance.

  • It portrays a good image of the institution through its clean and green campus.

  • More efficient resource management

  • To create a green campus

  • To enable waste management through reduction of waste generation, solid and waste

  • To create plastic-free campus and evolve health consciousness among the stakeholder

  • Recognize the cost-saving methods through waste minimizing and managing

  • Authenticate conformity with the implemented laws

  • Empower the organizations to frame a better environmental performance

  • Enhance the alertness for environmental guidelines and duties

  • Impart environmental education through systematic environmental management approach and Improving environmental standards

  • Benchmarking for environmental protection initiatives

  • Financial savings through a reduction in resource use

  • Development of ownership, personal and social responsibility for the University and its environment

  • Developing an environmental ethic and value systems in youngsters.

  • Green auditing should become a valuable tool in the management and monitoring of environmental and sustainable development programs of the University.

  • Finally, it will help to build a positive impression through green initiatives for the upcoming NAAC visit.

 

 

Green Audit Methodology:-

 

The following step by step methodology and approach were adopted while carrying out the Green Audit. SEA Energy team visited for the field measurement and conducting the audit.


The broad methodology adopted for the Green Audit is furnished below.


Ø  Preliminary discussions with personnel and observations in all Campus areas.

Ø  Data collection through discussions, past records, specifications.

Ø  Field studies in each of the areas involving: - Performance trials.

Ø  Measurement of energy performance related parameters

Ø  Study of existing environment management practices

Ø  Study of existing waste management practices

Ø  Gap analysis & Identification of conservation opportunities.

Ø  Preparation, discussion and submission of report to the management.


  • Pre Audit Stage


A pre-audit meeting provided an opportunity to reinforce the scope and objectives of the audit and pre-audit discussions were held based on green initiatives taken and the current scenario of the University campus. This meeting is an important prerequisite for the green audit because it is the first opportunity to understand the concerns. It was held with the concerned person of the University regarding initiatives taken by the University and regarding the last NAAC Green Audit conducted by the University. The meeting was an opportunity to gather the information that the audit team can study before arriving on the site. The audit protocol and audit plan were handed over at this meeting and discussed in advance of the audit itself. The pre-audit meeting was conducted successfully, and necessary documents were collected directly from the University before the initiation of the audit processes. The actual planning of audit processes was discussed in the pre-audit meeting. An Audit team was also selected in this meeting with the help of staff and the University management. The audit protocol and audit plan were handed over at this meeting and discussed in advance of the audit itself.


  • Management Commitment

 

The Management of the University has shown a commitment towards green auditing during the pre-audit meeting. They were ready to encourage all green activities. It was decided to promote all activities that are environmentally friendly such as awareness programs on the environment, campus farming, planting more trees on the campus, etc., after the green auditing. The management of the University was willing to formulate policies based on a green auditing report.


  • Target Areas:-


A clean and healthy environment aids effective learning and provides a conducive learning environment. There are various efforts around the world to address environmental education issues. Green Audit is the most efficient and ecological way to manage environmental problems. It is a kind of professional care that is the Page 25 responsibility of each individual who is part of economic, financial, social, environmental factors. It is necessary to conduct a green audit on a University campus because students become aware of the green audit, its advantages to saving the planet and they become social and responsible citizens of our country. Thus Green audit becomes necessary at the university level. The broad objectives are as follows.


  1. Diagnosing the environmental problems to eliminate them.

  2. Environmental education through a systematic environmental management approach.

  3. Improving environmental standards.

  4. Benchmarking for environmental protection initiatives.

  5. Efficient utilization of resources.

  6. Financial savings through a reduction in resource use.

  7. Curriculum enrichment through practical experience.

  8. Development of ownership, personal and social responsibility for the University and its environment.

  9. Developing environmental ethics and value systems in young people.

  10. Providing certain recommendations based on environmental audit reports.

  11. Ensuring compliance, not only with laws, regulations, and standards but also with company policies and the requirements of an Environmental Management System (EMS) standard.

  12. Enabling environmental problems and risks to be anticipated.

  13. To demonstrate that University is aware of its impact upon the environment.


  • Audit Stage

 

Green Audit was done with the help of co-associates involving different student groups, teaching, and non-teaching staff. The green audit began with the teams walking through all the different facilities at the University, determining the different types of appliances and utilities as well as measuring the usage per item (Watts indicated on the appliance or measuring water from a tap) and identifying the relevant consumption patterns (such as how often an appliance is used) and their impacts. The staff and learners were interviewed to get details of usage, frequency, or general characteristics of certain appliances. Data collection was done in the sectors such as Energy, Waste, Green Area, Carbon footprint, and Water use. University records and documents were verified several times to clarify the data received through surveys and discussions.

 

·         Energy Management

·         Water Management

·         Waste Management

·         Environment Management

 

  • Onsite visit and observations

 

Ganpat University has a vast built-up area comprising various departments under various academic buildings, teachers and staff quarters, many facilities including Academic Buildings, Guest House, Health Centre, Council hall, Auditorium, other facilities and separate men’s and women’s hostels. All these amenities have different kinds of infrastructure as per their requirement. All these buildings were visited by the surveyors and the present condition is checked with the help of the questionnaires. Personal observations were made during the onsite visit. All the amenities were clubbed in, as per their similarities and differences, which makes the survey and further analysis easier. After the collection of secondary data, the reviews related to each environmental factor were taken by the green audit team. The data were tabulated, analyzed and graphs were prepared. Depending upon the observations and data collected, interpretations were made. The lacunas and good practices were documented. The Environmental Management Plan (EMP) was prepared for the next academic year in order to have better environmental sensitization. Finally, all the information was compiled in the form of the Green Audit Report.

 

  • Data analysis and final report preparation

 

Proper analysis and presentation of data produced from work is a vital element. In the case of a green audit, the filled questionnaires of the survey from each group were tabulated as per their modules, in Excel spreadsheets. The tabulated data is then used for further analysis. For a better understanding of the results and to avoid complications, averages, and percentages of the tables were calculated. A graphical representation of these results was made to give a quick idea of the status. Interpretation of the overall outcomes was made which incorporates all the primary and secondary data, references, and interrelations within. Final report preparation was done using this interpretation.

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