What is the difference between QMS & EMS

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.
What is the difference between QMS & EMS

A Quality Management System (QMS) and an Environmental Management System (EMS) serve as essential tools to help organisations achieve their objectives, with distinct focuses. QMS ensures high product quality and customer satisfaction, while EMS addresses environmental concerns in production and consumption processes, minimising environmental harm.

To comprehend the difference, let’s first explore the two integrated ISO standards. ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. ISO 9001:2015 concentrates on quality management, while ISO 14001 addresses environmental aspects. ISO 9001 entails customer-driven processes, more documented procedures, defined standards, and a quality manual. On the other hand, ISO 14001 is environmentally driven, featuring fewer documented procedures, no defined standards, and no quality manual.

Quality Management System (QMS) – ISO 9001

ISO 9001 focuses on ensuring the quality of production processes, products, or services. It provides a framework to meet customer expectations, enhance satisfaction, reduce waste, and continually improve processes.

Environmental Management System (EMS) – ISO 14001

ISO 14001 certification manages environmental impacts like waste, pollution, and hazardous materials. It aims to identify areas that reduce environmental impact, enhance environmental performance, and ensure compliance with regulations.


ISO 9001 follows a customer-driven approach, optimising procedures to meet customer requirements. Conversely, ISO 14001 is environmentally driven, optimising resources and operations to mitigate environmental harm.

Best Practices

QMS focuses on achieving quality by emphasising customer focus, leadership engagement, process approach, employee involvement, evidence-based decision-making, continual improvement, and stakeholder relationship management.

EMS focuses on reducing environmental footprints, promoting sustainability, operational improvements for efficiency and environmental benefits, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, and reducing environmental risks.

Want to begin your ISO journey?

Both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 can be integrated into a single Quality Management System called an Integrated Management System (IMS), streamlining quality and environmental management system objectives. Download our Gap Analysis Checklist here to get you started.

For ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 implementation or integration, contact Citation Certification today!

Take your business to the next level

What are you interested in?
Your data will be processed inline with our Privacy Policy.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.