Faster audits and less paper: A comprehensive tool for environmental professionals
We have developed a specialised and extensive website wymagania-prawne.pl, with a web application. It is a system that improves the process of auditing companies in terms of environmental protection.
Every large company in Poland must have an audit showing how it meets the requirements of environmental law. Of course, documents and tasks can be just managed in Excel but with more data, this starts devouring time and energy of the employees, and then one can quickly feel the bottleneck in the data flow.
The wymagania-prawne.pl website provides organisations with a comprehensive tool for preparing such audits. It allows them to systematically gather knowledge about what is happening in the company and to monitor changes in the law on an ongoing basis. There was no such solution in Poland before and it was very much needed.
How did we develop that tool?
At first sight, wymagania-prawne.pl is a large database with an interface. But this website is more than it seems. When designing this tool, we faced several challenges:
- First, the relationship grid between various data, documents, and other objects in the database proved to be extremely complex. In addition, environmental legislation regarding companies often changes. The range of information, often internally linked and interdependent, that needs to be taken into account, is very wide and constantly growing. Our task was therefore to create a compendium of knowledge for environmental experts in companies. It’s more than even a large database—it is a whole library, constantly expanding its resources.
Another challenge was how to make these resources available and how to process them. The entire time we had our eyes on the primary goal—that tool was to be useful above all else. Working step by step on the solutions, we were immersing ourselves more and more in the field of corporate environmental protection. We tried to learn the professional terminology and thoroughly understand the tasks of an auditor. Our client is our guide in that world, pointing out as a practitioner both the right paths and the blind alleys. So we designed the solutions by entering the role of such an auditor.
Third, each company has a different internal structure and processes. The particular industries also have their own specific natures. Our task was therefore to create a universal and effective, yet flexible tool; in this particular case, it meant a tool that was configurable in terms of the needs of particular companies and nature of their business activities.
We took responsibility for all stages of the that task: from business analysis, through the design and development of the website and the application, to their implementation. The project was handled by an interdisciplinary team.
How does this system work?
We have developed a complete catalogue of legal requirements for environmental protection, useful for companies of any industry and size. It includes statutory regulations, as well as those imposed by local law, i.e. established at the local government level. It also allows for creating one's own requirements, i.e. created at the level of the company or even of a specific department in the company. The legal requirements library is updated on an ongoing basis, along with comments from legal advisers (attorneys-at-law). The user receives, among other things, information about changes in the law and has the ability to filter legal acts in the relevant fields of environmental protection. The interface is fully readable for experts in this field.
The web application we have developed provides users with effective solutions in five key areas. It enables company auditors to conduct the following tasks:
Appointing auditors in relevant departments of the company and planning the audits on the basis of which the so-called compliance audits are created. These are documents (reports) submitted to the relevant government offices confirming that the company meets the requirements of environmental law. The document format complies with ISO 14001:2015. The system also "keeps an eye” on deadlines and reminds about them.
Creating and establishing authorisations and entitlements for the employees at various levels of the company. This function allows for efficient assignment of tasks regarding verification of the legality of specific solutions in place. The auditor has the ability to define the manner of this verification, so it is as intuitive to use as possible for employees in specific positions (it may be e.g. a simple checklist).
Reviewing the regularly updated provisions of law—broke down into sections, chapters, acts, up to a specific clause. Changes between the different versions of documents are also visible.
Adding whole acts, statutes, clauses concerning the company to their individual list
Adapting document packages regarding the company departments
Benefits for our client
Our client received a comprehensive reporting system, fully compatible with legal requirements in Poland. The tool saves time for auditors and other company employees, streamlines data flow, and optimises data processing.
Wymagania-prawne.pl is currently the only website of this type in Poland. It was launched in 2009 and remains a unique and therefore unrivalled solution to this day.