Assuring Success with Compliance Audits

Assuring Success with Compliance Audits
May 13, 2015 Bradley Cox

The auditing process is imperative to the certification and verification of a property under any compliance related matter. Often clients are intimidated by the word “audit” and consider it a stressful process. However in working with my clients I like to encourage them to act as if it were any other day and I was a guest staying at their property, not the big bad auditor looking to seek out non-compliance issues. With a firm hand yet kind demeanour I am able to realize the best the property has to offer while also verifying their accomplishments in accordance with the criteria. With standard adherence/applicability variations and unique cultural and traditional characteristics influencing the process, it’s always a new experience to be had verifying compliance.

A typical audit day is me, up at the crack of dawn inputting parameters from the time I arrive to the time I depart. I make it a point to view the grounds thoroughly and speak with members of the resort staff both on the Green Team and off. In depth analysis of the property’s management systems and polices, assurance of their operations and the impacts they have both on the bottom line (economics) and the surrounding properties is part of the process. Understanding how sustainability is integrated and the influences it has on the overall function of the resort – cost saving elements, continuous improvement, efficiency, clear communication, social components, community involvement, etc.

Friendly conversation with guests to see how they interpret the initiatives and understand the sustainability commitments of the resort allow me to humanize the audit experience and provide valuable feedback upon crafting my report. This, to me, is one of the most important focuses as the guest experience and conveyance of sustainability in an effective and informative manner is key.

With the increase in travel for edutainment purposes, making sure my clients are in-line with the international travel trends provides an added benefit to the audit experience and valuable feedback for the client. Showcasing the process and the property’s sustainability through my various channels – social media, articles, website, blogs etc during and after the audit process is an added benefit I provide to my audit clients.

Finally the reporting process and providing valuable feedback for improvement is a notable asset which I am qualified to provide. A clear snapshot of where the property is and where they can aspire to be while also ensuring a great working relationship is afforded throughout the audit experience. Over time my clients become more like family and I proudly recommend them for awards and share in their successes. But please don’t take my word for it; take their word…..

“Ms. Hinds is the epitome of success without limitations. She is a driven, focused, and knowledgeable individual who I have had the pleasure to know over the last few years. At my previous property, Rockhouse, Denaye, had been very supportive, patient and knowledgeable in all things Green. She was also very fair, yet firm in aspects that needed to be improved. She highlighted the importance of accurate, detailed documentation, but even more so the value of employee training. The Environmental Management System was kept in line due to her committed follow up between audits. In an effort to bring Green Globe Certification and initiatives to Mount Cinnamon Beach Resort, Grenada, Denaye has continued to be that go-to person as it related to sustainability.” Jonnel Edwards, Reservations Manager & Environmental Officer – Mount Cinnamon Beach Resort, Grenada

“Denaye Hinds during her audit addressed the issues I had with the tremendous amount of paperwork and criteria and was able to provide expert guidance making my work a whole lot easier to handle. Working with Denaye has given me a better understanding of how environmental conservation works in the wider world, by giving me examples from her home in Bermuda and from her work in Miami’s office of OBM International. She exposed me to the standards and techniques that Green Globe outlines that make eco-friendly management plans so much better for a business to thrive, while bringing people and resources into positive harmony with the environment. Not to mention, Denaye is so personable. How can you help but want to hear about her thoughts on projects, like how to present recycling meaningfully to our staff that don’t have recycling in their own homes? Her body of work, which is diverse and extensive, will inspire you when you hear about the projects she has worked on in Mexico, in Bermuda and the States, and then she can tell you how to make those Green visions become reality. How awesome is that, to picture an oasis that is sustainable and profitable! I highly endorse Denaye for any Green project for businesses and developments in the Caribbean, because I know she has the knowledge base and the connections to make valuable contributions to any Environmental conscious management plan.” Shaku Ramcharan, Environmental & Conservation Manager – Tryall Club, Jamaica

“Through our personal experience with Green Globe Auditors, Denaye included, we have managed to maintain our EMS trend at a very efficient and high level since 2003. We have seen a smoother auditing process, enhancement in all areas and our goal to achieve much more. Denaye’s input & recommendations are always highly valued!  During the past few years, having joined Green Globe Certification, we are readily driven to implement new ideas and systems to enhance our product.   Based on these achievements we have seen significant improvements on an annual and continual basis!  Our entire team, guests and staff alike, have this eco – conscious commitment at heart and will continue to do so for the years to come”.  Lidia Halley – Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa, Aruba

K. Denaye Hinds is an Accredited Green Globe Auditor and serves as the Lead Auditor for the Caribbean, Mexico and USA. She is the Director of Sustainability for OBM International and the Technical Director of Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), powered by Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA). Contact her for your auditing needs at: dhinds@obmi.com