How a company’s total quality management can be improved with the help of ISO 14001?

An Environmental Management System ISO 14001 is the widely accepted and recognized industry standard which allows the organizations to manage the environmental performance but do you know, there are other benefits too that an organization accrues when adapting this standard and its practices. Many activities and practices of ISO 14001 also worked towards “total quality management” which leads the improvements in the quality management performance. But can we ensure or are sure that we can get the business benefits too? Let’s understand this in more detail,

What is the Relationship between Environmental Management Systems ISO 14001 and Quality Management standard?

Annex SL of the ISO standards and its respective use has clearly mentioned that the family of ISO standards should use the similar terminology and clauses, so integration of the Total Quality Management in your business operations becomes relatively easy and seamless. Hence, if you are currently complying with ISO 14001, then your respective quality management system or related activities will be more efficient and smoother because of this shared activity and knowledge. As suggested by environmental management systems consultants, many of the functions in the ISO 14001, like internal audit, management review, and corrective action are the shared standards. Both have the customer satisfaction and continual improvement as the central point and have a common theme that is derived from the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycle, it comes out that both standards are closely related to each other.

How Environmental Management Systems activities can help your organization’s quality performance?

If you have got the ISO 14001 certification for your organization and has an EMS functioning then without any doubt, your organizations quality management performance is getting influenced positively. Let’s see how:

  1. Monitoring the KPIs – As a part of your EMS, your organizations will be adapted to using the objectives and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). And in TQM, we do a fact-based decision making which can be molded by using the same methodologies to establish and quantify the quality KPIs and further work can be done towards those quality targets; this will become the central point in understanding the performance together and hence, ultimately in improving them.
  2. Integrated Training Approach – The training and knowledge have its own place and importance in the overall EMS, which is also critical in QMS and the integrated system of TQM. It’s better to get the integrated approach for both i.e. combine the aspects of products awareness, systems, processes, quality performance, and shared objectives into the overall training program. This will not only facilitate the improved knowledge of the product and processes but will also increase their overall awareness, hence achieving the organizations QMS objective and performance quickly with the help of EMS. Outcomes of effective training always create a positive environment within the organization.
  3. Improve quality by leverage the leaders – We all know the positive impact and effect of good leadership, which increases the EMS organizations performance, it is very much similar to the QMS. Most leaders do not lose the opportunity when given a chance to improve the overall quality performance of the organization with little cost; therefore, it’s an excellent idea to implement or integrate the quality related activities into the organizations existing Environmental Management Systems functions and hence get the immediate quality performance benefits of the business. An ISO Certification Consultants can help you to get the same either by replicating or defining how they can be extended. It’s an effective way for the leaders to get engaged and improve overall performance.
  4. Align QMS activities with EMS roles and responsibility – Now as we have set the KPIs and also get the leadership established, then why not it’s better to get the alignment of roles & responsibility in an integrated approach, means when you allocate EMS job to a specific person, why not assign the programs, activities, and corresponding responsibilities of QMS to him/her only, this will give a focused approached and help to achieve the excellent results.