The Swedish government decided in 1996 that the governmental authorities are to implemement
environmental management systems. Each year, the Swedish Environmental Protection
Agency compiles the authorities’ reports on their environmental management systems. The
compilation shows that not more than 20 % of the authorities perform environmental audits.
This study aims to investigate the authorities’ view of internal environmental audits, the incentives
of performing them. It also investigates if the environmental audits contribute to continuous
improvements. The study is a case study of nine participating authorities that all reported
to have performed environmental audits in 2005. The interviews were analysed based
on the extent of the internal environmental audits. The result shows that three of the nine participating
authorities did not perform any environmental audit at all. The results suggest that
the incentives of the greatest importance for internal environmental audits in the other six
authorities are external requirements, mainly requirements in ISO 14001, as well as commitment
in environmental issues among the employees and the organisational management. The
study also suggests that continuous improvement is a result of the internal environmental audit.
This is mainly due to the increased environmental awareness within the administration
and because of the continuous improvement of the environmental management system.
Stockholm: Centrum för tvärvetenskaplig miljöforskning (CTM) , 2007. , 36 p.