Introduction:

As competition increases and alongside higher environmental awareness, more and more organizations are choosing to implement both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards together in a single, unified integrated management system.

It should come as no surprise, as both standards share many similarities, both being based on the Annex SL management system standard.

Both quality management systems and environmental management systems are highly synergistic with one another.

The need for implementing both an EMS and QMS together in a single IMS has existed for a long time, and the trend is only growing. The best solution for this is to take them both on in one fell swoop, in the form of an integrated management system.

This checklist is designed to help you integrate your existing EMS and QMS policies and procedures, and consolidate two separate manuals into one.

By implementing both standards together into a single reference point, you will save yourself time and money by not having to do twice the work to update two separate management systems. 

It will also allow you to align the environmental objectives with quality policies, and achieve further synergy between the two systems in service of your overarching business goals.

How and where to start implementing a singular integrated management system will be different for each company, but this checklist should offer you a firm starting point and get the ball rolling, providing you with actionable steps towards a complete IMS.

Let's get started with the checklist.

Gather basic details

First of all, record some basic details about the checklist, and who's running it.

This will be useful as part of the documentation of your EMS in the future.

Plan:

Develop a project plan

Making such a complex system should not be done ad-hoc. For a successful implementation and later maintenance of your IMS, it is crucial to approach it systematically and develop a project plan.

This plan needs to include precisely defined activities, resources, responsibilities and deadlines.

Doing this enables the company to clearly identify what needs to be done, how long it will take, what resources are needed, and who will do it in the best way.

A good plan will facilitate the integration and allow some of the tasks to be performed  simultaneously, decreasing the time needed for the implementation project.

Using the form fields below, record the project plan outline, and upload a full project plan document if applicable.

Define the scope of the IMS

To set a firm foundation for the system, the company must first determine the scope of the management system by defining what locations and processes the system applies to.

Having separate systems for ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 allows having separate scopes, which can be convenient in some cases but, for most companies, the scope will be the same.

The scope is usually the entire company, or it could be only some of the processes and locations.

All standards require the scope to be documented (see here for a free preview of Scope of the Integrated Management System); the only difference is that ISO 9001 allows organizations to determine what requirements of the standard are not applicable to the organization, and can therefore be excluded from the scope of the IMS.

This is only applicable if the exclusion does not affect the company’s ability to ensure conformity of products and services, or the enhancement of customer satisfaction, and justification must
be given for any exclusions.

This will essentially require you to establish and compare the scope of both EMS and QMS, and determine where overlap exists.

Using the form fields in this task, record the scope of both EMS and QMS separately.

Determine common ground

The next step is to identify all of the common requirements from the three standards, and this is not a short list.

Basically, clauses 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10 are almost the same, with some small differences.

There are quite a lot of common requirements that, with minor adaptations, can be met through a single process or document.

Use the sub-checklist below to run through each of the clauses, and detail how the integrated requirements for each will be met in the form fields of this task.

  • 1
    Context of the organization
  • 2
    Relevant interested parties
  • 3
    Leadership
  • 4
    Policies
  • 5
    Risks
  • 6
    Opportunities
  • 7
    Environmental aspects
  • 8
    Compliance
  • 9
    Business goals and objectives

Do:

Ensure SOPs do not conflict with environmental aspects

This is the core of the standard, the Do phase, and here the integration brings the highest benefits.

If the company has integrated ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 systems, operational planning and control will not be conducted separately and will not double the use of resources in some phases.

This facilitates establishment of the systems, but it brings difficulties when performing the activities.

The people who will be conducting the operational controls for ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 are the same ones in charge of the processes, and will get instructions from different sources.

For ISO 9001 the instructions will come from process procedures, while ISO 14001 instructions will come from the procedure for operational controls of the environmental aspects.

This can be confusing, and may lead to contradiction in the instructions to the employees. And, by coordinating the employees from different sources, it may lead to unnecessary activities or doubled activities just because the two procedures refer to the same process.

That is why it is important to include the requirements of both standards when developing a procedure for a single process.

When fulfilling the following requirements for ISO 9001 operational control, it is vital to include requirements for operational controls of significant environmental aspects within the processes:

  • 1
    Defining the requirements for the products and services
  • 2
    Establishing criteria for processes
  • 3
    Defining resources
  • 4
    Fulfilling other requirements for ISO 9001 operational control

If significant environmental aspects emerge from the process, operational controls regarding the aspects must be included in the procedure that defines how the process is conducted.

This will result in having one workflow for the process without risk that something is left out or the sequence of activities is jeopardized.

Determine whether or not all procedures contain requirements for both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 with the form field below.

Integrate resource management processes

Resource management can be done in the same way for both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and be compliant with the requirements of both standards, except for one small difference.

ISO 9001 defines additional resource requirements and separates them into several sub-clauses.

Using the sub-checklist below, make sure your resource management procedures have the following sub-clauses:

  • 1
    People
  • 2
    Infrastructure
  • 3
    Environment for the operation of processes
  • 4
    Monitoring and measuring resources
  • 5
    Organizational knowledge

Integrate requirements for competence and awareness

Similarly, requirements for employee competence, training, and awareness are the same, with one small difference.

The difference is that the EMS refers to environmental requirements, and the QMS to quality requirements, but they can both be met with the same process.

Considering both quality and environmental requirements can help to improve process optimization, coordinating employees with an overview of all resources needed and providing improved coordination of business outputs.

Using the form fields below, record the various quality and environmental competence requirements.

Integrate requirements for internal communication

The requirements are the same for internal communication, with the exception that ISO 14001 additionally requires external communication of the environmental policies and such.

This also means both internal and external communication procedures will need to be extensively documented.

Using the form fields below, define what will be communicated, when, to whom, and how.

Integrate requirements for documenting information

This one is easy; requirements for documenting information is identical in both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. 

The singular integrated process, then, should define the following aspects of documented information:

  • 1
    Creation
  • 2
    Update
  • 3
    Distribution
  • 4
    Withdrawal
  • 5
    Retention

Study/Check:

Define monitoring and measurement requirements

Both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 require the organization to define what will be monitored and measured, how, how often, and how the results will be analyzed.

Besides the different perspectives of the standards, the difference is that ISO 9001 has a separate sub-clause with requirements regarding monitoring and measuring customer satisfaction, while ISO 14001 has additional requirements for the evaluation of compliance

  • 1
    QMS: Requirements for customer satisfaction met
  • 2
    EMS: Compliance requirements met

Indicate the shared monitoring and measurement requirements with the form field below:

Integrate scope of internal audit process

The internal audit is the same in terms of how it is conducted for both standards; the difference is in the clauses and requirements to be audited.

Having one process for internal audits of both standards will facilitate coordination and planning of the audits; the fact that they are part of the same system doesn’t mean that the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 requirements must be audited at the same time, but having one internal audit program (here you can find the free preview of Internal Audit Program) for both standards will help the organization to plan the audits better and avoid overlapping of resources

If you don't already have a clearly defined audit process, then check out these checklist templates for self-auditing both ISO 9001 for quality management, and ISO 14001 for environmental management:

Integrate management review scope

The appeal of an integrated management system is clear to top management: they will only have to hold one meeting instead of two.

Management reviews should be performed only once all reports and input elements for both the QMS and EMS have been gathered in one place. 

This way, it will be far easier to make decisions informed by a singular perspective of the IMS and its performance.

Outline the integrated scope of the management review in the form field below.

Act:

Integrate the process for continuous improvement

There are no specific standards pertaining to the implementation of continuous improvement, and both QMS and EMS standards rely heavily on methodologies of CI such as the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

Whether quality or environmental, problems like these can be resolved in much the same ways.

Consider this fact when developing the singular integrated procedure for managing nonconformities and corrective actions for both quality and environmental management systems.

Outline the primary strategies for continuous improvement with the form field below.

Sources:

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