The large companies have instated a system of integrated management that requires constant internal and external auditing meant to make sure that the company follows the rules and regulations according to the internal work order and the laws in force.
An interesting fact is that in spite of the strategy that allows auditing committees verify how the environmental regulations are applied inside the companies, none of the audits consider the amount of paperwork, electrical energy and office supplies such an audit consumes.
On an average scale a corporate audit implies that all the heads of departments and compartments have prepared large file containing all the weekly and monthly reports, printed on paper – of course, through which the work process and its compliance with the laws in force is monitored.
Since such a procedure of work monitoring involves all the members of the company, the file grows exponentially with the reports the heads of departments and compartments are obliged to produce and the files for each of their subordinates.
Originally the process was not meant to create such a huge stream of paper work.
But since every procedure develops a work instruction and every work instruction in turn develops a string of regulation forms which must be present in the proverbial file, the auditing process on a company with 100 employees is equivalent to around 60 trees being cut down and processed for paper.
The even funnier thing is that the same internal management concept encourages the compliance with the rules and regulations that are sustaining a greener and healthier environment.
Looking at the auditing process that normally takes place twice a year and which consists in an evaluation of how the work management complies with the internal management rules by verifying whether or not there are papers to prove that, we have to admit that the auditing process is even more polluting that the work process itself.
While auditing a financial institution, a team of American researchers from Columbia University observed that the bank in question, during the preparation for the internal audit, consumed twice the amount of paper, print, Xerox toner and electricity, normally consumed in a month.
Add to it the stress during the auditing period and make the calculus of the proverbial carbon foot print of such an event. You will be surprised to see the damage it does.