Quality management and environmental management: what’s the difference?

Understand the key differences between Quality Management Systems (QMS) and Environmental Management Systems (EMS), focusing on ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. Discover how each system can elevate your business practices, from enhancing product quality to minimising environmental impact.
Quality management and environmental management: what’s the difference?

Our experts are asked many questions, but one has always stood out: what is the difference between the quality management system and the environmental management system?

The most obvious difference is the name, however, there’s a lot more to these two ISO standards and their certification process that makes them so very different from each other despite having crossover.

A Quality Management System (QMS) and an Environmental Management System (EMS) are both management systems designed to help organisations achieve their objectives and goals but under different focuses.

As a business owner or manager, we know that your main goal is to deliver the highest quality products and services to your customers and maintain that standard throughout the life of the business. One way to ensure this is to implement effective and efficient processes that help you create a robust, quality management system.

To put it simply, a QMS and an EMS are both necessary for organisations that are looking to improve and maintain quality and customer satisfaction, but what are the differences?

Perhaps the most obvious difference is that ISO 9001 is the standard for quality management and addresses how to improve and maintain quality standards from conception to sale whereas ISO 14001 is the standard that addresses the environmental aspects of a business.

However, the biggest difference between these two internationally recognises standards lies in their approach. A Quality Management System is typically customer-driven meaning that the system works to better your processes to ensure products or services produced can and consistently meet customer requirements and expectations. While an Environment Management System is environmentally driven, meaning that it primarily focuses on working to optimise resources and improve a business’s operations to reduce and avoid harmful environmental impacts.

ISO 9001 Quality Management System

  • Build market differentiation and competitive advantage;
  • Prove your claim to operational quality;
  • Reduce your exposure to liability
  • Provide safety system compatibility;
  • Boost improvement and cost-efficiency; and
  • Improve organisational morale.

ISO 14001 Environmental Management System

  • Enhanced overall environmental performance;
  • Ability to systematically manage environmental responsibilities;
  • Reducing energy usage;
  • Reducing waste production;
  • Minimising your negative environmental impact;
  • Maximising your resources; and
  • Improved sustainability.

But why get certified? What are the benefits?

ISO 9001 certification is based on several quality management principles including a strong client focus and a commitment to continual improvement. Both this focus and commitment will help ensure your clients experience consistent, good-quality products and services.

ISO 14001 can be applied to any organisation regardless of size, scope, or sector, and once implemented it works to minimise a business’s environmental impact, efficiently manage resources, and improve processes.

In addition to the major benefits to the environment and your business, you’ll also be meeting the expectations of your clients, customers, and stakeholders, and fulfilling your compliance with international standards.

Citation Certification are the experienced experts to lead you towards achieving ISO certification

Having helped thousands of businesses across many ISO achievements, our team will guide you through the certification process by simplifying the application and auditing process. From providing audit outcomes that add value to your organisation to implementing best-practice processes, our auditors aim to help your business achieve its ISO certification goals.

Ready to get certified?

Connect with our trusted and experienced team at Citation Certification to discuss your needs.

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