Monday, August 30, 2010

The ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 Standards and the environment

The ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 Standards and the environment

The ISO 14000 family of International Standards on environmental management is a relative newcomer to ISO’s portfolio – but enviroment-related standardization is far from being a new departure for ISO.

In fact, ISO has two-pronged approach to meeting the needs of business, industry, governments, non-governmental organizations and consumers in the field of the environment.

On the one hand, it offers a wideranging portfolio of standardized sampling, testing and analytical methods to deal with specific environmental challenges. It has developed more than 350 International Standards (out of a total more
than 12000) for the monitoring of such aspects as the quality of air, water and soil. These standards are means of providing business and government with scientifically valid data on the environmental effects of economic activity.

They also serve in a number of countries as the technical basis for environmental regulations.

ISO is leading a strategic approach by developing environmental management system standards that can be implemented in any type of organization in either public or private sectors (companies, administration, public utilities). To spearhead this strategic approach, ISO establish a new technical commitee, ISO /TC 207, Environmental management, in

1993. This followed ISO’s successful pioneering experience in management system standardization with the ISO 9000 series for quality management.

ISO’s direct involvement in environmental management stemmed from an intensive consultation process, carried out within the framework of a Strategic Advisory Group on Environment (SAGE),set up in 1991, in which 20 countrie, 11 international organizations and more than 100 environmental experts participated in defining the basic requirements of a new approach to environment-related standards.

This pioneering work was consolidated with ISO’s commitment to support the objective of “sustainable development” dicussed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Today, delegations of business and government experts from 55 countries have participate actively within TC 207,

and another 16 countries have observer status. These delegations are chosen by the national standars institute concerned and they are required to bring to TC 207 a national consensus on issue being addressed by the commitee.

This national consensus is derived from a process of consultation with interested parties.

From its beginning, it was recognized that ISO/TC 207 should have close cooperation with ISO/TC 176, Quality management and quality assurance, in the areas of management systems, auditing and related terminology. Active efforts are under way to ensure compatibility of ISO environmental management and quality management standards, for the benefit of all organizations wishing to implement them.

Elements Of ISO 14001 Environmental Management System

Elements Of ISO 14001 Environmental Management System

ISO/DIS 14001 is one of a series of emerging international environmental management standardsaimed at promoting
continual improvement in company environmental performance through the adoption and implementation of an environmental management system. The (draft) standard specifies the core elements of an EMS, but contains only those elements that may be objectively audited for certification or self-declaration purposes. A companion guidance standard, ISO/DIS 14004 includes examples, descrïptions and options that aid in the implementation of an EMS and in integrating the EMS into overall management practices. It is not intended for use by certification/registration bodies.

ISO/DIS 14001 defines an overall environmental management system , closely modeled on the ISO 9000 quality systems standard , and covers the following key elements:

· Establishment of an appropriate environmental policy that is documented and communicated to employees and made available to the public, and which includes a commitment to continual improvement and pollution prevention, regulatory compliance and a framework for setting objectives;
· A planning phase that covers the identification of the environmental aspects of the organization’s activities, identification and access to legal requirements, establishment and documentation of objectives and targets consistent with the policy, and establishment of a program for achieving said targets and objectives (including the designation of responsible individuals, necessary means and timeframes);
· Implementation and operation of the EMS including the definition, documentation and communication of roles and responsibilities, provision of appropriate training, assurance of adequate internal and external communication, written management system documentation as well as appropriate document control procedures, documented procedures for operational controls, and documented and communicated emergency response procedures;
· Checking and corrective action procedures, including procedures for regular monitoring and measurement of key characteristics of the operations and activities, procedures for dealing with situations of non-conformity, specific record maintenance procedures and procedures for auditing the performance of the EMS;
· Periodic management reviews of the overall EMS to ensure its suitability, adequacy and effectiveness in light of changing circumstances.

The EMS as outlined in ISO 14001 provides a structured process for the achievement of continual improvement, the rate and extent of which is determined by the organization in light of economic and other circumstances. Although some improvement in environmental performance can be expected due to the adoption of a systematic approach, it should be understood that the EMS is a tool which enables the organization to achieve and systematically control the level of environmental performance that it sets itself. The establishment of an EMS will not, in itself, necessarily result in an immediate reduction of adverse environmental impact. Indeed, care needs to be taken that the mere establishment of an EMS does not lull the organization into a false sense of security. But effectively used, an EMS should enable an organization to improve its environmental performance and avoid or reduce adverse environmental impacts over time.

Why is Six Sigma Fascinating in ISO 9000?

Why is Six Sigma Fascinating in ISO 9001 Standards?

Six Sigma has become very popular throughout the whole world. There are several reasons for this popularity. First, it is regarded as a fresh quality management strategy which can replace TQC, TQM and others.

Many companies, which were not quite successful in implementing previous management strategies such as TQC and TQM, are eager to introduce Six Sigma.

Development process of Six Sigma in quality management

Six Sigma is viewed as a systematic, scientific, statistical and smarter (4S) approach for management innovation which is quite suitable for use in a knowledge-based information society.

Second, Six Sigma provides efficient manpower cultivation and utilization. It employs a “belt system” in which the levels of mastery are classified as green belt, black belt, master black belt and champion. As a person in a company obtains certain

training, he acquires a belt. Usually, a black belt is the leader of a project team and several green belts work together for the project team.

Third, there are many success stories of Six Sigma application in well known world-class companies. As mentioned earlier, Six Sigma was pioneered by Motorola and launched as a strategic initiative in 1987. Since then, and particularly from 1995, an exponentially growing number of prestigious global firms have launched a Six Sigma program. It has been noted that many globally leading companies run Six Sigma programs (see Figure 3), and it has been well known that Motorola, GE, Allied Signal, IBM, DEC, Texas Instruments, Sony, Kodak, Nokia, and Philips Electronics among others have been quite successful in Six Sigma. In Korea, the Samsung, LG, Hyundai groups and Korea Heavy Industries & Construction Company have been quite successful with Six Sigma.

Lastly, Six Sigma provides flexibility in the new millennium of 3Cs, which are:

• Change: Changing society

• Customer: Power is shifted to customer and customer demand is high

• Competition: Competition in quality and productivity

The pace of change during the last decade has been unprecedented, and the speed of change in this new millennium is perhaps faster than ever before. Most notably, the power has shifted from producer to customer. The producer-oriented industrial society is over, and the customer-oriented information society has arrived. The customer has all the rights to order, select and buy goods and services. Especially, in e-business, the customer has all-mighty power.

Six Sigma with its 4S (systematic, scientific, statistical and smarter) approaches provides flexibility in managing a business unit.