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ISO 14001:2015 integration with ISO 9001:2015 – What has changed?

With the recent releases of ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, many have questioned how an integrated management system using these two standards will change. In many ways, the newly released updates to both standards will make it easier to understand how to integrate the requirements of these two standards. In many ways, integrating an Environmental Management System (EMS) and a Quality Management System (QMS) has never been easier.

A common format to both standards

By following the format set out in Annex SL, both the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 standards have a top-level format that is the same, thereby making it easier to compare what is common and what is different between the two standards. The requirements of each standard start at Clause 4, and here is a summary of the similarities and differences between these clauses:

  1. Context of the organization: Both standards include understanding the context of the organization, understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties, and determining the scope of the management system. By doing this, one process can be utilized for these activities, with a minor change in focus from the EMS to the QMS. For more information, see Determining the context of the organization in ISO 14001.
  2. Leadership: Again, both standards include the need for leadership and commitment, creating and communicating a policy for the management system, and the definition of roles, responsibilities, and authorities as they relate to the quality and environmental functions within the management systems. One additional requirement in the QMS is the importance of customer focus. For more information, see How to demonstrate leadership according to ISO 14001:2015.
  3. Planning: For both the EMS & QMS there is a need to address risks and opportunities, and to create and plan to achieve management system objectives. The EMS has additional requirements of understanding the environmental aspects and compliance obligations for the company processes, and these need to be addressed separately.
  4. Support: Although minor differences exist, the common themes of resources, competence, awareness, communication, and documented information need to be addressed. Additionally, the processes and procedures put in place to address these requirements in both management systems can be the same, addressing both sets of documented requirements at once.
  5. Operation: This is one major area of difference between the standards, and requires separate processes for both the EMS and QMS. While both include the need for operational planning and control, the EMS then only has emergency preparedness and response as additional requirements. The QMS has many more required processes such as design control, release of products and services, and control of non-conforming outputs.
  6. It is beneficial to note that the operational control requirements for both the EMS and QMS can be integrated into the same processes and procedures; for instance, a purchasing procedure can include any EMS controls, such as the need for Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) when purchasing materials, rather than having a separate procedure for controlling purchase of these materials.
  7. Performance Evaluation: Both ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 have a focus on the need for monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation of the EMS & QMS, but what is being assessed by these processes is different. While the EMS is concerned with evaluation of compliance, the QMS looks at product evaluation and customer satisfaction. In both standards there are requirements for internal audit and management review, and these requirements have not changed much from the previous standards. Both can easily be done together by performing internal audit and management review of the processes of both management systems together. For more information, see Environmental performance evaluation.
  8. Improvement: The final section of each standard concerns the need for continual improvement and corrective action. The processes put in place for these requirements can be made applicable to both the EMS and QMS, and in fact the requirements are almost identical between ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015, which makes this integration easier.

Many of the processes remain the same

To make the integration of ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 easier, many of the process requirements have remained largely unchanged. Such processes as internal audit, corrective action, and management review are only slightly different than the requirements of ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 9001:2008, so where these processes were easily integrated before, they remain easy to perform in one process between the EMS and the QMS.

With many of the processes for monitoring and continual improvement of the EMS and QMS being the same, integrating these two management systems into an integrated management system is easier than you might think; and, being easy to integrate means you can gain even more benefits from the processes you put in place.

To find out more about ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 integration read this free white paper: How to integrate 2015 revisions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Advisera Mark Hammar
Mark Hammar
Mark Hammar is a Certified Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence through the American Society for Quality and has been a Quality Professional since 1994. Mark has experience in auditing, improving processes, and writing procedures for Quality, Environmental, and Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems, and is certified as a Lead Auditor for ISO 9001, AS9100, and ISO 14001.