How to Lengthen Your Present QMS Into an IMS Addressing ISO 14001

How to Prolong Your Existing QMS Into an IMS Addressing ISO 14001


During the environment, there are clearly growing problems about weather change, sustainability, and other environmental troubles. The wider local community is having to pay raising interest to how business functions effects on the setting. In simple fact, some shoppers are now specifying environmental management necessities for their suppliers to fulfill.

Maybe the most tangible evidence of an organisation’s environmental determination is for its management technique to be licensed to the ISO 14001 normal.

Even though several hundreds of organisations have currently achieved that distinction, far more than 5 times as many have management programs accredited to the ISO 9001 Excellent regular. Lots of 1000’s far more have management devices in area but haven’t nevertheless sought certification. For them, a logical development may be to extend their present Good quality Management Method into an Built-in Management Method that also fulfills the prerequisites of ISO 14001. This short article usually takes a temporary glimpse at the challenges associated in carrying out just that. Before we move on, lets just explain what the ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 series or spouse and children of specifications are about.

The ISO 9000 relatives addresses High quality management. This means, what the firm does to fulfil the customer’s excellent specifications, while also addressing the requires and expectations of other stakeholders.

The ISO 14000 loved ones addresses Environmental management. This suggests what the corporation does to eliminate or cut down damaging results on the surroundings triggered by its activities.

In the two instances, an organization must preserve compliance with relevant authorized and regulatory needs, and work toward continual improvement of performance.

The fantastic news

You know those conversations exactly where you are requested “Do you want the good news or the lousy information?” Effectively, in this circumstance, there is just not seriously any poor news – just some additional routines and controls to be set in area. We will get to individuals in a moment, but the definitely superior information is that if you have a management method that complies with ISO 9001, you Previously comply with most of ISO 14001. The explanation is that a lot of of the demands are really similar. It is generally just a problem of target – on product/services high quality OR the surroundings.

What are the similarities and discrepancies?


The following checklist – while not exhaustive – indicates some important spots in which the 2 expectations have at least a broadly identical philosophy and specifications:

  • Dependent on the Plan-Do-Verify-Act cycle
  • Aims of attaining constant improvement
  • Established out the over-all plan
  • Established measurable goals
  • Allocate duties / authorities
  • Be certain that folks have been trained, are skilled, and knowledgeable of their part
  • Doc the method
  • Manage those files
  • Manage actions
  • Deal with exceptions
  • Regulate documents
  • Plan and perform internal audits
  • Management assessment


Properly, aside from their concentration staying on distinctive compliance problems, there are also some simple discrepancies between the demands of the 2 requirements. These contain:

ISO 9001 is extra prescriptive in its specifications for documentation

For case in point, there are requirements for you to have a “Quality handbook” and documented processes for at the very least 6 clauses:

  • Control of paperwork
  • Control of data
  • Internal audits
  • Management of non-conforming product
  • Corrective action
  • Preventive motion

Even though ISO 14001 DOES have similar clauses, and does involve treatments to deal with people routines, they DO NOT have to be documented. Nonetheless, if you have presently documented them for the function of compliance with ISO 9001, these existing documented treatments can also be used to your environmental management pursuits. They just need to be reviewed and altered to accommodate both applications.

ISO 14001 does not involve a need for one thing identical to a High-quality handbook. However, if you previously have one particular, it could be expanded to contain relevant info this sort of as the environmental policy, information and facts on environmental responsibilities and authorities, and a desk indicating how the method addresses the a variety of ISO 14001 clauses. In such conditions, it is rather standard to rename the Good quality Handbook to Business handbook or Compliance handbook.

Thought of environmental areas and impacts

For all those who have only experienced publicity to good quality management, one of the critical distinctions in ISO 14001 will be found in Clause 4.3.1 ENVIRONMENTAL Areas.

Certain factors of an organisation’s actions, goods or expert services will have some impression on the atmosphere. For your organisation, you need to establish what those people areas are, what impacts they have, and assess their importance. This could be considered a danger assessment exercise. You then require to put controls in area to handle those people considered as significant. At this position, it may be practical to offer a definition of the terms ‘environmental aspect’ and ‘environmental impact’:

  • Environmental part An element of an exercise, product or company that has an effect on the setting
  • Environmental affect A change manufactured to the atmosphere as a end result of an environmental factor

You may assume of them just in terms of Induce and Influence. Let’s acquire a look at some illustrations of environmental elements:

  • Usage of cardboard for packaging merchandise
  • Usage of gas for delivery cars
  • Use of power for workplace lights

The following are examples of environmental impacts:

  • Sounds nuisance to area group
  • Depletion of non-renewable vitality source
  • Water air pollution
  • Air air pollution
  • Increased carbon dioxide levels in ambiance

To handle this factor of the conventional, an original environmental assessment is necessary to discover your facets and impacts, evaluate their importance, and plan a hierarchy of controls to correctly deal with them.

External communications

Whilst both equally standards demand organisations to build solutions of internal communications about the management program, ISO 14001 also needs techniques for dealing with communications with external fascinated parties these as buyers, regulators, and the wider group.

What are the essential challenges?

We requested some reps of certification bodies: What do you take into consideration is the range 1 obstacle for an organisation heading from a QMS to an IMS incorporating ISO 14001 specifications?

In the watch of Scott Walker, Queensland Operations Aid Manager for SAI World wide:

The greatest obstacle for a QMS transferring to an IMS incorporating ISO 14001 demands is the change in emphasis from product risks to individuals related with the setting and human health, and from shopper protection to environmental protection.

Garry Allan, Senior Environmental Auditor also with SAI International reviews:

A lot of IMS have hassle concentrating properly on the certain prerequisites of each individual space.

Ian White, Senior Excellent and Environmental Auditor with Sci-Qual indicates:

An Organisation ought to define the EMS framework relating to both equally the program demands of the 14001 typical and the major environmental facets joined to their functions. Ideally the Organisation will do an environmental audit of their functions to create the environmental features affiliated with their operations. From a perspective of industrial viability, the Company ought to then danger-evaluate their substantial environmental elements to minimise the probable and/or authentic important environmental impacts that may well/do arise as a end result of their pursuits. The quantity 1 obstacle is including all those considerable environmental areas, their impacts and controls into the operational processes of the organisation.

So how do you go from a QMS to an IMS incorporating ISO 14001 prerequisites? The initially step is to perform a gap assessment.

Hole analysis

A hole investigation is a research to assess a current scenario with a wished-for scenario. There are two key issues:

  • Where by are we now?
  • Wherever do we want to go?

To solution individuals queries in the context of environmental management, put together a desk that lists the ISO 14001 specifications (or at minimum a summary or interpretation of them). The ISO 14001 normal can be received from your neighborhood benchmarks affiliation and other authorized sources. For every single clause, you may possibly then take note existing preparations (if any) that are in position, and the gaps between them, and how to reach compliance to the normal.

The gap analysis can be carried out in-residence or by a advisor or in-home – possibly using a commercially obtainable planning software. The selection of which route to just take may possibly be decided by several aspects – together with the amount of in-dwelling experience, the complexity of the business, and its environmental aspects/impacts. Nonetheless executed, the gap assessment gives the basis stone on which to plan and establish the wider IMS.

As talked about above, you will also need to have to conduct an first environmental critique.


Lots of certification bodies that audit and certify to ISO 9001 will perform the similar support for ISO 14001. The price tag of certifying an integrated management program that addresses the two benchmarks should really also be significantly less than the merely doubling the price of a one certification. There can be reductions in administration fees and audit time. Contact your certification body to go over your merged certification options.


Problem about the surroundings is only most likely to improve nevertheless even more. Obtaining a management technique certified to the ISO 14001 normal is perhaps the most tangible proof of an organisation’s environmental dedication.

For these with an present Excellent Management System, the step to an IMS that also complies with ISO 14001 might be than very first imagined. It is really certainly truly worth considering on many ranges. A lot of the essential work can commonly be finished in-house. That can be assisted by consultancy solutions, instruction and computer software for direction, to help save time and administration effort.


Many thanks for the beneficial input from: Scott Walker and Garry Allan of SAI Worldwide, Ben White and Ian White of Sci-Qual International, and Steve Keeling of JAS-ANZ.

And, when you are occupied doing the job more difficult, but not smarter, a lot of CEOs are thoroughly FEDUP of your absence of creativity and collaboration skills.

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