Digital Environmental Inspection

Organisations across various sectors, big and small, are increasingly analysing their effect on the world around them through digital environmental inspection.

Digital Environmental Inspection

The effect that any business has on the local surroundings has a profound impact on their sustainability as well as their appeal to today’s customers. It has been increasingly shown that millennials and generation Z in particular tend to choose organisations that are eco-conscious where possible. This is leading many different businesses to value the power of digital environmental inspection more and more. Today, the leading way to check your carbon footprint is to carry out operational reviews in terms of activities and resources and keeping track of these over time. By doing so, it becomes possible to analyse the progress that is being made to a sustainable future.

The most dynamic way to inspect the sustainability effort of an organisation is through digital environmental inspection. This can of course often also mean what the organisation is doing through digital, but chiefly represents a way of monitoring what a business does to stay as green as possible through a digital inspection solution. Paperless inspection solutions, besides the obvious choice of not operating on paper, can be updated frequently, used by several users and reduce the inspection time. By integrating the features of mobile devices in the form of tablets and smartphones available today, inspectors can take photos of environmental issues, record safety problems via speech-to-text services or fill out standardised response forms regarding site cleanliness in an instant. Using these tools not only increases the efficiency of reporting, but it heightens the value of the data recorded. Take for example an inspection of a piece of machinery leaking oil. A pen and paper inspection would record the leak and potentially where it is coming from. A digital inspection could make lengthy notes through recordings, include images of the oil leak severity and location as well as instantly notify both maintenance and cleaning teams of the issue. The turnaround of the oil problem becomes vastly reduced as the information gets shared quicker, leading to replacement parts being ordered earlier, and often the issue attended to faster (often also better).

For management, digital environmental inspection not only becomes something that can be proudly displayed to customers as a badge of thoughtfulness, but something that gives you tangible data. Assets can be categorised, and their inspection data married to their historical record, which when complying with industry environmental regulations, significantly simplifies the audit trail process. Digital environmental inspection is neither only about being as green as possible; proper use and integration into organisational operations often brings up important safety issues that could otherwise have gone unnoticed. Monitoring whether you have asbestos, legionella or lead paint lying about your site sounds trivial but is clearly a major safety issue in some industrial facilities. With the integration of industry standards and machinery manuals as reference material in inspection checklists, inspectors know what to look out for. When this is spotted, management can have pre-configured suggested corrective actions that can be carried out at that moment to mitigate the danger that is posed by the recorded issue. As such an environmental issue becomes recorded, necessary parties can be informed straight away, just like the oil problem eluded to earlier, for information sharing purposes. If an inspection is carried out with the intention of assessing the environmental sustainability of your processes, it quickly becomes useless if the data recorded is not put to good use. This is why digital environmental inspection platforms, as part of a larger computerised maintenance management system (CMMS), often include automatic analysis that can sync with other business intelligence or ERP systems. With 24/7 access to the inspection data and automatically generated reports of site checks, management can always demonstrate environmental consciousness in line with industry compliance.

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