How is Sustainability Audited?

Many investors now consider more than dollars and cents when expanding their portfolios. A company’s environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) strategy is essential too. ESG performance informs at least 90% of investors’ decision-making and investment strategy. 

As many as 74% will divest from organizations with weak sustainability performance. How can your company show it’s achieving its goals with a sustainability audit?

But how is sustainability audited? And what is in a sustainability audit?

This article tells you this and more. It will also look at using a sustainability checklist and factors to consider in your audit. Read on to find out.

How is Sustainability Audited?

What is a Sustainability Audit?

A sustainability audit assesses a company’s progress in achieving its sustainable development goals. It focuses on the areas of social, environmental, and economic performance. It evaluates whether the resources put toward these goals are being used effectively.

If not, an audit allows you to reassess your targets. You can use the data gathered to formulate more effective solutions.

Ensuring your sustainability is successful will benefit your company in many ways. This includes greater customer acquisition, increased profits, and better employee retention. 

How is Sustainability Audited?

A sustainability audit method will look at how companies define sustainability initiatives. It also examines how they execute and monitor them.  

The audit will look at the following when assessing how your company defines these initiatives:

  • Procedures and Policies
  • Executive Oversight
  • Risks
  • Awareness and Culture

Examining the execution of these initiatives will involve reviewing the use of data and tools that support sustainability. It will also look at the tracking of regulatory changes. It will include compliance by employees and third parties, among other factors.

When assessing monitoring, the audit will consider the management, investigation, and reporting of any issues that occur.

What is in a Sustainability Audit?

A sustainability audit will consist of three detailed areas. The first should include company investments. It should focus on where and how your company invests. It should indicate if you invest in companies committed to sustainability. It should also note any boycotts of your company due to inadequate sustainable practices.

The second area of the audit should assess your company’s operations. Is your company recycling? Have you implemented programs that allow your customers to recycle?

It should also delve into steps to reduce your energy consumption.

The final area should include customer education about your sustainable practices.

A sustainability checklist will help to ensure you cover all areas. Items on a sustainability checklist and factors to consider should include:

  • Your social impact on employees and society
  • Infrastructure and support for sustainability program development
  • Environmental impacts

This includes environmental impacts in procurement, product development, waste reduction, and resource conservation.

Getting Your Sustainability Program Right

How is sustainability audited? We hope this guide has helped you know more and understand why it is so important.

Businesses probably play the most crucial role in the social, ecological, and economic environment. They must implement sustainability initiatives that benefit society. But these initiatives must be more than items written on paper.

They must be effective and continually monitored and adjusted. A sustainability audit can help you do this. But you don’t have to do it on your own.

Phase Associates can help. We can help you plan for a sustainable future. Contact Phase Associates to find out more about our services.

We service the states of New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

If interested, browse our blogs in our navigation to learn more about other environmental news. We list just a few below.

Ergonomics Risk Assessment & Training

Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) Program Outline

Bloodborne Pathogens: Assessments & Training

Community Air Monitoring Plan Services

Customized Phase 1 ESA Reports

and more blogs here

Ergonomics Risk Assessment & Training

Ergonomics Risk Assessment & Training: Phase Associates

Ergonomics Risk Assessment & Training: Phase Associates

Workers using their muscles, tendons, and ligaments frequently, over time, or in awkward positions can lead to pain and injury. Known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), these types of injuries cause around 30% of days away from the workplace.

As an employer, you can help prevent these injuries through an ergonomics risk assessment and training. So, if you’re wondering, “what do you look for in an ergonomic assessment and training?” keep reading to find out.

What Is an Ergonomics Risk Assessment?

Ergonomics can help minimize the risk of injury to your workers. Not only does this keep them healthy, it can also increase profitability. Comfortable workers are more likely to be satisfied with their work, increasing their productivity.

An ergonomics risk assessment finds unsafe practices and conditions in a workplace. Once these hazards are found, you can create a plan that helps to prevent them.

What Are the Key Components of an Ergonomic Risk Assessment?

An ergonomics assessment checklist will look at a few different points. These include:

  • Posture
  • Repetition of tasks/movements
  • Tools used
  • Lighting

Any worker complaints must also be kept in mind when completing ergonomic assessments. You should also find out if workers have been diagnosed with health issues like carpal tunnel, tendonitis, or back ailments. These issues can point toward specific topics to investigate and solve.

What Are the Ergonomics Assessment Tools?

Part of your assessment will include using at least one ergonomics assessment tool. These tools help determine how risky the specific job you are evaluating is. Each device focuses on a different task to measure the accompanying risk.

The WISHA Lifting Calculator and NIOSH Lifting Equation are valid for lifting or lowering. Meanwhile, Snook Tables are better for pushing, pulling, and carrying tasks. Finally, for tools and functions where vibration is a concern, you may want to use the UK-developed Hand-Arm Vibration Calculator.

Finally, Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) and Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) are appropriate for upper and entire body posture, respectively. 

For most, reading about WISHA Lifting Calculators, UK-developed Hand Arm Vibration Calculators, NIOSH Lifting Equation, Snook Tables and Rapid Limb and Body Assessments can be confusing. In addition, you have no clue what they do and why they are vital.

Phase Associates is here to help you learn more and provide your company with a PHASE Associates ergonomics risk assessment by implementing the proper methods and tools.

What Do You Look for in an Ergonomic Assessment?

When choosing an ergonomic assessment, you should look for a well-rounded one. First, it should evaluate your current work practices and conditions. This will allow your partner to develop a plan that will provide you with practical and effective recommendations to keep your workers safe.

In addition, PHASE Associates’ services include ergonomic training. These training courses teach employees simple ways to keep themselves safe and comfortable.

It would be best if you also looked for a service to develop a program and team. An ongoing ergonomics-focused team can help make sure your new suggestions are implemented and continue to be used in the future.

Keep Workers Safe with Ergonomics Risk Assessments

Ergonomics risk assessments can help identify your workers’ health, safety, and comfort problems. Keep in mind the answer to “what do you look for in an ergonomic assessment?” so you can choose ergonomics risk assessment and training that will benefit your employees.

Contact PHASE Associates to start your company’s ergonomics risk assessment today.

We offer ergonomic risk assessments to NJ, PA, NY, CT, DE, GA, VA, and MD. We look forward to servicing your ergonomic risk assessment and training needs.

Bloodborne Pathogens: Assessments & Training

Bloodborne Pathogens, Assessments and Training Services

Bloodborne Pathogens: Assessments & Training Service: Phase Associates

Workers who may encounter bodily fluids are at an increased risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. If your workers are at risk, your company must have a biosafety plan.

Reducing and eliminating the risk that comes with possible exposure to common types of bloodborne pathogens can be difficult. You must assess safety from all angles, plan accordingly, and train your workers to follow safe work practices. By working with Phase Associates, we can help you eliminate these risks and keep workers safe.

Reducing and eliminating the risk that comes with possible exposure to common types of bloodborne pathogens can be difficult. You must assess safety from all angles, plan accordingly, and train your workers to follow safe work practices. By working with Phase Associates, we can help you eliminate these risks and keep workers safe.

Assessments

Your biosafety program must meet the requirements of OSHA 29 9 CFR 1910.1030. To know if your workplace meets these OSHA requirements, you must do a risk assessment.

An employee risk assessment can help determine how and which employees are at risk of exposure to infectious pathogens. Many workers you may not expect could be at risk of coming into contact. For example, the cleaning staff could be at risk due to bodily fluids they encounter.

PHASE Associates offers comprehensive environmental health and safety services, and assessments for bloodborne pathogens in workplaces are one.

Our bloodborne pathogen assessment starts with reviewing the exposure risk of all individuals in the workplace area, followed by bio-safety audits. These audits identify the areas where employees may be exposed to harmful bloodborne pathogens.

Planning Services

Once an environmental consulting company like Phase Associates completes the proper assessment and audits, they will implement a safety action plan. Because many different materials can transmit bloodborne pathogens, this program will be created to focus on and meet all OSHA 29 9 CFR 1910.1030 requirements within your company’s individual needs.

The plan will include the best practices and engineering controls most relevant to your workers. For example, potentially dangerous materials will be labeled to keep workers from mismanaging them.

Training Services

Now that the assessment and audits and the action plan are completed, it’s time to ensure the workers understand how to follow the safe work practices outlined in the program.

The environmental health and safety team at Phase Associates provides these training services. Other diseases like Ebola can be covered as needed, along with training to eliminate exposure to bloodborne and infectious pathogens.

It’s also essential that you periodically offer employee refresher training. Over time, safety practices may change as you identify new hazards and better practices. But, in addition, workers may become lax. This carelessness can result in knowledge gaps that could put their health at risk.

Protect Your Employees from Bloodborne Pathogens

You can help protect workers from exposure to bloodborne pathogens with a few steps. Start by conducting employee risk assessments and biosafety audits. Then, develop a written safety program and ensure compliance through bloodborne pathogens training.

Working with PHASE Associates will ensure your workers are fully protected. Get in touch with PHASE Associates today to learn more and get started.

We provide bloodborne pathogen assessments, audits, planning and training to the states of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, and Virginia.

Community Air Monitoring Plan Services

Community Air Monitoring

Guide To Community Air Monitoring Plan Services

As sites are under construction, transporting materials, excavating, and disposing of contaminants, it is vital to ensure the safety of those at the workplace and the surrounding community. Having a community air monitoring plan in place will ensure the safety of all. 

A community air monitoring plan, or CAMP for short, is a plan that involves keeping track of the air in places that may be prone to air pollution. In real-time, air monitoring devices are placed in key locations to monitor particulates (i.e., dust) and volatile organic compound vapors (VOCs) at the downwind perimeter of particular work areas.

Having the plan in place will detect any contamination in the air, providing a measure of protection for the downwind community. The goal is to protect off-site workers and residents from airborne contaminant releases as the work is performed on a particular site.

Do you want to ensure your workplace and community have safe air to breathe? Are you wondering why you’ll need a Community Air Monitoring Plan (CAMP) to ensure that?

This article addresses your questions and more.

Community Air Monitoring Plan Basics

CAMP is an air monitoring program prepared by the New York State Department of Health. Places that often receive monitoring are sites with heavy metals and other areas with concerns of particulates moving into residential areas. The data collected from this can better inform future emission-reduction plans for communities.

While monitoring the area, if the organic vapors stay between the 0 and 1 ppm range, the on-site work can continue as planned; however, if the ppm range rises above 5ppm, the work activities must halt. The proper actions to identify and eliminate the source must be taken.

Monitoring particulates uses the same approach. Normal operations are allowed if the downwind perimeter has around 150 μg/m3. If less than 100 μg/m3 is found while monitoring, work activities halt, and corrective actions begin.

Types of Hazards

There are many harmful outdoor contaminants, and they can easily find their way indoors. Having a temporary or long-term CAMP in place will ensure that everyone sharing the space is safe from bacteria, formaldehyde, asbestos and other. For example, indoor and outdoor moisture can become a hazard with mold growth. 

The Community Air Monitoring Process

The community air monitoring process starts by establishing and defining the level of data quality needed to meet the action-focused objectives followed by:

  • Determining the areas of concern that need to have a community air protection plan in place.
  • Identifying the monitoring methods and equipment for sustainability and to meet the selected goals.
  • The quality control procedures will be established to ensure data is scientifically defensible.
  • A description of how data will be collected and managed will be played out.
  • The air monitoring field procedures and timeline will be set.

Learn More About Community Air Monitoring Plans

Phase Associates can provide you with an overview of our community air monitoring plan. In addition, we will explain the process of safe air quality on a site to keep the work area and the surrounding community safe. 

Do you want to know more about Community Air Monitoring Plans (CAMP) services and how you can have them implemented? Contact Phase Associates. We are happy to serve New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, and Virginia.

Also, be sure to look at our Phase Associates website and browse through all the different indoor air quality services that can ensure safe indoor air quality for all situations.

We also have a blog with additional resources such as learning about the Clean Air Act, indoor air quality, workplace safety, environmental sustainability, EHS consulting and training, and more.

Customized Phase 1 ESA Reports

Customized Phase I ESA Reports

Customized Phase 1 ESA Reports: Phase Associates

New Jersey has 114 sites with hazardous waste on the EPA National Priorities List. However, the total number of hazardous waste cleanup sites is much higher.

If you plan to buy commercial property, you could unknowingly purchase a contaminated site. But not if you get a Phase 1 ESA report first.

What is a Phase 1 ESA report? Find out here and learn how it can help you make a more informed real estate purchase.

What Is a Phase 1 ESA Report?

A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) report summarizes the findings of a Phase 1 ESA. The ESA investigates a property’s current and former uses. In addition, it looks for recognized environmental conditions that could affect the property’s value.

Recognized environmental conditions include the presence of substances including:

  • Petroleum products
  • Hazardous substances like lead, mercury, and volatile organic compounds

A Phase 1 ESA will tell you whether a site has current or historical problems with hazardous materials.

What Triggers a Phase 1 ESA?

A commercial real estate transaction can trigger the need for a Phase 1 ESA. In addition, lenders usually require an ESA as part of due diligence.

The federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) requires due diligence before certain commercial real estate transactions. The property owner must complete All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI). Otherwise, the landowner would be financially and legally responsible for any environmental problems on the property.

You may need a Phase 1 ESA before acquiring, developing, or refinancing commercial property. The ESA helps avoid potential environmental risks and liabilities.

Without an ESA, you might purchase a property and discover contamination later. In addition, you could be responsible for high cleanup costs.

Various real estate transactions can trigger a Phase 1 ESA report, including:

  • The property where industrial or commercial operators used regulated hazardous materials
  • Property near current industrial or commercial operations
  • Property used for oil or gas drilling
  • Property with known environmental liens

Phase 1 ESA reports help to ensure buyers and sellers have the information they need before completing the transaction.

What Happens During a Phase 1 ESA?

A Phase 1 ESA must follow ASTM standard E1527-13 or E1527-21. In addition, the professionals conducting the assessment must qualify as Environmental Professionals under the ASTM standard. The process gathers information from several sources.

Records and Historical Sources

The first step in a Phase 1 ESA is looking at records and historical sources. These sources can include:

  • Historical aerial photographs
  • Historical city directories
  • Historical topographic maps
  • Historical Sanborn (fire insurance) maps
  • Building department records
  • Property tax records
  • Zoning records

The environmental professional must consult these documents for the subject property and all adjoining properties.

Site Walkthrough

The next step is visiting the site. The environmental professional will visually examine the entire property and investigate any areas of concern.

They will take photographs for the ESA report.

Interviews

Ideally, a Phase I ESA includes interviews with current and former owners and operators of the site. In addition, discussions with state and local regulators can also provide important information.

Written Report

Finally, the environmental professional compiles all the information into the Phase I ESA report. The report will recommend any next steps. For example, if the Phase 1 assessment found environmental concerns, Phase 2 site assessment reports may be necessary.

Where to Find Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Services

What is a Phase 1 ESA report? Now you know what it is and its importance. You also understand why ESA reports are essential and what they include.

The next step is to find the correct Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment services.

PHASE Associates offers assessment services that comply with the most recent ASTM Phase 1 ESA standards. Our investigations also follow the AAI rule. We will customize your report to meet your and your lender’s needs.

Contact us today to discuss your site assessment requirements.

We provide ESA reports to NJ, PA, NY, DE, CT, GA, VA and MD.