If you want to deliver high-quality, competitive products or services to your customers, you will need a reliable quality management system (QMS.) That’s where the ISO 9001:2015 standard comes into play.
But, in today’s business environment, offering quality products isn’t enough anymore to stay competitive. You also need to ensure that the production and consumption of your products or services don’t cause any harm to the environment. And for that, you will need a good environmental management system (EMS.) That’s precisely the goal of ISO 14001.
Although the standards address different problems, it’s easy to see that their goal is common – to deliver better products and improve customer satisfaction. But, at a closer look, these two ISO standards also have some striking differences between them.
So let’s take a look at the differences between ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
What Is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is a quality management system that can help businesses set the right procedures to create and deliver quality products and services. ISO 9001 also focuses on meeting or even exceeding customer expectations and needs. For that to happen, businesses must focus on the continual improvement of their operations as they need to adapt to emerging market trends or legislation changes.
Because the process is ongoing, this standard requires more internal audits and better record keeping to ensure that every department follows the proper procedures and standards.
What Is ISO 14001?
With the help of the ISO 14001 standard, businesses can set and implement the proper procedures to manage their environmental impact and ensure that their environmental aspects are acceptable.
You may think that only large corporations that deal with pollutants, such as refineries or chemical factories, need to worry about the health and safety of their operations. But the reality is that any business, regardless of its size, should consider its environmental impact, try to lessen it, and strive to improve its environmental performance. This will not only help companies deliver better and safer products but also meet customer expectations. In this day and age, consumers expect all businesses to be mindful of their carbon footprint and update their existing systems to reduce their negative impact on the environment.
Unlike ISO 9001, where the procedures are clearly defined, and companies need to be diligent about record keeping, in the case of ISO 14001, there are no defined standards, and the document volume is significantly smaller. However, top management is more involved in the EMS processes as any environmental issues can attract media and legal attention.
Integrating the Two Standards
Despite their differences, you can create an integrated management system (IMS) that includes both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Although it may be a bit hard at first to implement them, once you’ve established them, they are relatively easy to manage and will become part of your company’s routine.
How Your Compliance Can Help
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