Influence of environmental auditing on environmental performance: the case of commercial facilities in Gucha District
This research study sought to find out how environmental auditing influences environmental performance of commercial facilities in Gucha. In recent times, environmental auditing has been widely adopted in Kenya as a tool foster environmental performance. Specifically, it aims at enhancing environmental compliance, increase environmental compliance and even hold them accountable for various environmental issues. While there has been increased environmental audit practice for commercial facilities in Gucha, it has been noted that some of these entities are still flouting environmental regulations. Thus, further use of environmental audit will be of no significance if the relationship between environmental auditing and environmental performance is not established. Objectives of the study were to establish the influence of environmental audit quality, monitoring frequency, environmental management sufficiency and environmental proactivity on environmental performance of commercial facilities. To effectively do this study a descriptive research design was used and this incorporated both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Target population were managers of commercial facilities engaged in processing/manufacturing, extraction, hospitality, commercial storage and environmental audit consultants. Out of 60 targeted respondents, 52 of them successfully participated in the interviews. Findings from the study indicate that there is a significant influence between various aspects of environmental auditing and environmental performance. Environmental audit quality was established to be fairly significant on compliance. Similarly, it was also determined that environmental monitoring frequency influences environmental performance through raising environmental awareness. Sixty one percent (61 %) environmental management plans were also found to be sufficient, well understood and with good implementation of improvement orders. Further, commercial facilities were found to be fairly proactive in environmental management issues. A few commercial facilities approached environmental management on a reactive approach while few were proactive in environmental management issues. To a greater extent environmental auditing was found to be influential environmental performance management of commercial facilities in Gucha District. The study recommended increased use of self-audits and environmental by commercial facilities as a self-regulatory scheme. This will enhance ownership in environmental management issues. In addition it recommended that management of these commercial facilities to adopt a proactive approach in environmental management. This study suggested that in future, related studies to determine the influence of environmental auditing on adaptive environmental management.