Adding a management system that meets the environmental requirements of ISO 14001 to an existing quality ISO 9001 system has never been as simple with the introduction of the new versions of both standards. Organisations with a thorough and robust quality management system will understand the need for good data and evidence, so will find the addition of a new element to their overall management system a challenge that can easily be overcome.
Increasingly, organisations that work with suppliers are asking for evidence of environmental policies or certification to ISO 14001. In some circumstances, this might be an optional request but there has been a number of situations recently where we have seen ‘optional’ becoming more ‘required’. This has particularly been in the case of manufacturing, and especially if electronics or plastics are included, as the need to demonstrate environmental requirements to the public becomes more of an expectation.
For organisations who have implemented a quality management system and certified their quality requirements against ISO 9001, the impact of adding environmental management to the system is relatively low. The introduction of Annex SL into the design of the ISO management systems now means that the structure of requirements is the same, so the organisation simply has to add in the relevant details, controls and routines to manage its environmental risks and opportunities.
The following summary provides a comparison of quality requirements in ISO 9001 to the environmental requirements in ISO 14001, and provides a simple insight into the types of controls or routines that you would need to implement for environmental management.
|Clause within the Standard||Quality Requirements||Environmental requirements|
|Clause 4. Context||Defined context showing issues that can affect quality, including a list of expectations by interested parties||
Defined context of environmental issues relevant to the business. These might be impacts on the environment (e.g. waste or pollution), use of resources, or positive aspects of the organisation's products and services that improve the overall environmental condition, plus a list of expectations of interested parties, including regulators
A scope (including a geographic definition) of the environmental management system
|Clause 5. Leadership||Defined quality policies, plus roles and responsibilities for the quality system||Defined environmental policies, plus roles and responsibilities for the environmental management system|
|Clause 6. Planning||Processes for identifying and assessing risks and opportunities to the quality of services /products. Processes for defining and managing quality objectives||Processes for identifying and assessing risks and opportunities to the environment. Processes for ensuring compliance to legal and other requirements. Processes for defining and managing environmental objectives|
|Clause 7. Support||Resources, such as infrastructure, people and equipment to achieve desired quality outcomes. Training, competency, communication and documented information to support the quality outcomes||Resources, such as infrastructure, people and equipment to achieve desired environmental outcomes. Training, competency, communication and documented information to support the environmental outcomes and provide evidence of ongoing compliance to legislation or other requirements|
|Clause 8. Operation||Methods and processes to manage requirements identified by customers, including the management of design, development and procurement. Processes to manage quality issues where they occur||Methods and processes to manage environmental controls relevant to the organisation’s environmental aspects, as well as emergency procedures to ensure pollution or other incidents are dealt with|
|Clause 9. Performance Evaluation||Monitoring and measurement of quality criteria, auditing of quality processes and controls, and a management review process to ensure that the quality system is operating and providing customer satisfaction||Monitoring and measurement of environmental criteria, auditing of environmental processes and controls, and a management review process to ensure that the environmental system is operating and providing enhanced environmental performance|
|Clause 10. Improvement||Processes and routines to ensure non-conforming issues are managed and also continual improvement is achieved in respect of quality||Processes and routines to ensure non-conforming issues are managed and also continual improvement is achieved in respect of pollution control and environmental sustainability|
Still confused? We help clients make good choices on integrating management systems, so please contact us to discuss your systems in more detail.
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Alister has worked within small, medium and large manufacturing industries for most of his career implementing and maintaining quality, environment and safety management systems. He has adopted a practical approach to implementing robust management systems which provides assurance for both employees and stakeholders.
Alister is a graduate in Occupational Health and Safety and holds additional professional qualifications in quality and environmental management.
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