Integrated management systems e three different levels of integration

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Journal of Cleaner Production

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www.elsevier.com/locate/jclepro

Integrated management systems e three different levels of integration Tine H. Jørgensen a,*, Arne Remmen a,1, M. Dolores Mellado b a

Aalborg University, Department of Development and Planning, Fibigerstræde 13, 9220 Aalborg, Denmark b University of Co´rdoba, Campus de Rabanales, Edificio C-3 Anexo, E-14071 Co´rdoba, Spain Received 26 November 2004; accepted 22 April 2005

Abstract Different approaches to integration of management systems (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and SA 8000) with various levels of ambition have emerged. The tendency of increased compatibility between these standards has paved the road for discussions of, how to understand the different aspects of integration. The focus of the article is primarily to discuss three ambition levels of integration: from increased compatibility of system elements over coordination of generic processes to an embeddedness of an integrated management system (IMS) in a culture of learning and continuous improvements. At present, national IMS standards are being developed, and the IMS standards in Denmark and Spain are being analysed regarding the ambition level for integration. Should the ISO organisation decide to make a standard for IMS, then it would be necessary to consider the different levels of integration in order to make a coherent standard. So far, management systems have had major focus within organisations. However, in order to create competitive advantages for the organisation and contribute to a sustainable development, the IMS has to be expanded to include the whole product chain and all the stakeholders. Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Keywords: Integrated management systems; Compatibility; Coordinated generic processes; Integration; Management system; ISO 9001; ISO 14001; OHSAS 18001; SA 8000

1. Introduction This article will give an overview of the discussions and developments of standards for management systems such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. A dominant current trend is towards integration, which has been suggested in different connections and with different levels of ambition. Integration is the solution, but what is the problem? Wilkinson and Dale [1] have given an overview of the literature and an examination of the concept of in* Corresponding author. Tel.: C45 96358080. E-mail addresses: [email protected] (T.H. Jørgensen), [email protected] plan.aau.dk (A. Remmen), [email protected] (M.D. Mellado). 1 Tel.: C45 96358000. 0959-6526/$ - see front matter Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2005.04.005

tegration. Among several distinctions, especially two levels of integration are highlighted [2]:  Alignment: A parallelisation of the systems using the similarities of the standards to structure the system. The purpose of the alignment is to reduce administration and audit costs. Separate procedures for each area are continued but placed in one manual.  Integration: Full integration in all relevant procedures and instructions. A Total Quality Management (TQM) approach with focus on employees, customers and continuous improvements. The alignment approach can be interpreted in two different ways, as similar to increasing compatibility of different standards and as a generic management system

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combining different elements into one handbook. The full integration approach goes one step further and involves embeddedness in the organisation as well as close interactions with stakeholders. In other words, it seems fruitful to differentiate among at least three different levels of integration. During the past 5 years, the revisions of standards in ISO have created a path towards more compatible management standards with cross-references and ‘integration’ of system elements, which can reduce confusion and give administrative benefits related to implementation and maintenance of the systems. However, compatibility is only a small step towards an integrated management system. A prerequisite for integration is an understanding of generic processes and tasks in the management cycle; the planedoe checkeact, and the potential benefits of such an integration are related to internal coordination and the reduction of possible trade-offs. An even more ambitious level of integration is concerned with creating a culture of learning, stakeholder participation and continuous improvement of performance in order to realize external benefits and to contribute to sustainable development. To realize this ambition, focus of the management system has to be on the synergy between customer-based quality, product-oriented environmental management and corporate social responsibility. In other words, three levels of integration can be distinguished: A) Corresponding: increased compatibility with crossreferences between parallel systems B) Coordinated and coherent: generic processes with focus on tasks in the management cycle C) Strategic and inherent: an organisational culture of learning, continuous improvements of performance and stakeholder involvement related to internal and external challenges. Our expectation is that the three levels of integration also involve different potential benefits from: a. reduction of administrative burdens due to improved internal coordination; b. competitive advantages; c. progress towards corporate responsibility related to all three pillars of sustainable development. The trend towards increased compatibility is described in Section 2, while the generic approach to integration with focus on the common processes is outlined in Section 3. The embedded and strategic understanding of integration is explained in Section 4. Finally, an assessment of the Spanish and Danish standards for IMS is presented (Section 5) in order to give two current examples on new IMS standards and to

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specify the levels of ambition in these standards, at this point in time. The conclusions are presented in Section 6.

2. Towards compatible standards e focus on system aspects Liability in connection with quality, environment, occupational health and safety as well as social accountability is important for the competitiveness and positive image of organisations. Certified management systems covering these areas are an indication of responsibility and concern for stakeholder relations from the organisation. Four different standards for management systems are briefly presented in the following with a focus on recent changes towards an increased compatibility. 2.1. Quality management systems (ISO 9001) The first two editions of the ISO 9000 series published in 1987 and revised in 1994 had a system that focused on enabling the enterprises to produce the same quality of products every time by specifying the policy, procedures and instructions in a quality handbook. With the revision in 2000 of ISO 9001, the focus on customers and continuous improvements became stronger. The circles and arrows in ISO 9001:2000 symbolise a dynamic and continuous process (see Fig. 1). With focus on the customers, their demands and the satisfaction of those demands, the organisation has to be more oriented towards the product chain in which it operates. ISO 9001:2000 has also been aligned with ISO 14001:1996 ‘‘in order to enhance the compatibility of the two standards for the benefit of the user community’’ [3]. By the end of 2003, more than half a million ISO 9001 certificates had been issued in 149 countries [4]. 2.2. Environmental management systems (ISO 14001) The ISO 14001 was first published in 1996, and a revised version was published in November 2004. The transition period for adoption of the new version is until May 2006. An environmental management system is: ‘‘part of an organization’s management system used to develop and implement its environmental policy and to manage its environmental aspects’’ [5]. ISO 14001 is not necessarily established independently of existing management systems, and in some cases it is possible to comply with ISO 14001 by adapting existing management system elements [6]. By the end of 2003, more than 66,000 ISO 14001 certificates had been issued in 113 countries [4].

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Fig. 1. Model of process-based quality management system [3].

The changes in ISO 14001:2004 are relatively minor [7]:  Improved coherence with ISO 9001:2000;  More focus on complying with regulations and other environmental provisions;  Objectives and targets must be measurable (not qualitative as today);  Registrations are moved to a joint paragraph;  The management review is described, point-bypoint. 2.3. Occupational health and safety management systems (OHSAS 18001) OHSAS 18001 was formulated by international certifying bodies with the basis in BS 8800 and was first published in 1999. OHSAS 18001 can be described as a de facto standard and is used as the basis for certification of occupational health and safety management systems. ISO has voted twice about whether to develop an ISO standard in this field and both times, the proposals have been turned down, and therefore, ISO currently, has no plans to develop such a standard. OHSAS 18001 was developed to be compatible with ISO 9001:1994 and ISO 14001:1996 in order to facilitate the integration of quality, environment as well as occupational health and safety management systems, if organisations wish to do so [8]. With the new quality and environmental management standards, OHSAS 18001 should be revised, in order to remain compatible [9].

2.4. Management of social accountability (SA 8000) SA 8000 was first published in 1997. The standard was developed by Social Accountability International (SAI), which is an association of different organisations which includes labour unions, human rights and children’s rights organisations, academia, industry etc. The aim of SA 8000 is to protect the rights of the employees and the standard is based on international conventions regarding human rights, child labour, forced labour, health and safety, freedom of association, freedom from discrimination, disciplinary practices, work hours, compensation and management practices. Since SA 8000 became fully operational in 1998, 665 companies have been certified, covering facilities in 44 countries [10]. Organisations can also choose to join the SA 8000 Corporate Involvement Programme which assists organisations when evaluating SA 8000, implementing the standard and reporting publicly on implementation progresses [10]. In 2004, ISO held an international conference on social responsibility in Sweden, where it was decided to develop an international standard providing guidelines for social responsibility [11]. The standard is expected to be published in 2008. 2.5. Compatibility With the revisions and new editions of the different standards, the management systems have an increased

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number of similarities. Although a standard for an IMS is not on the agenda in ISO, the following initiatives have improved the compatibility among the different standards in the following ways:  ISO 9001:2000 has a process focusing on continuous improvements, that is one of the foundations of the environmental as well as the health and safety management systems;  The new edition of ISO 14001:2004 has been developed to improve the coherence with ISO 9001:2000; and the connection to the EMAS II e Regulation (EC) No 761/2001 of the European Union is clarified;  A common standard ISO 19011:2002 for quality and/or environmental management system’s auditing has been developed. Compatibility, cross-references and internal coordination of the elements in the management system are obvious first steps. Making cross-references as illustrated in Fig. 2, can reduce the add-on problems of different parallel management systems in one organisation. Having different standards to comply with is likely to result in administrative burdens, duplication of paperwork and confusion between demands of different standards. Guide 72 is intended to improve the interface between the standards developing committees and the markets they serve. From an administrative view point, clear crossreferences are appropriate between the different management systems and should provide the following benefits:  Minimisation of documentation and records;  Less bureaucracy and reduction of paperwork;  Cost savings by optimisation of time and resources assigned to the systems;  Simplification of internal and external audits.

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ISO considers ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 as generic standards in the sense that these standards can be applied to any organisation in any sector. It can and has been questioned if ‘‘one shoe fits all,’’ and especially small and medium-sized enterprises have introduced simple management systems but without external certification [12,13]. However, in relation to the integration, a deeper look into the standards seems more interesting: what are the generics of the generic standards?

3. Generic management systems e focus on processes of coordination Increasing the compatibility of each standard is a basic platform towards an IMS. A step further is a common understanding of the processes of coordination within an organisation and the tasks involved in management. In other words, an IMS also has to be based on the generic aspects of management: policy, planning, implementation, corrective action and management review e the so-called ‘planedoecheckeact,’ (PDCA-cycle) [14]. A focus on the processes instead on structures and systems also stresses that all organisations today have to be innovative with focus on continuous improvements of their performance. An IMS standard based on generic process elements of coordination of a general framework for management, has to be extended with specific demands contained in the appendices of the standards for quality, environment, occupational health and safety, social accountability etc. [15]. The similarities or the generic processes in a management system are: top management commitment, definition of a policy, planning of objectives and targets, procedures for training of employees, communication procedures, audits, documentation and records control, control of non-compliance, corrective and preventive actions, and management review.

ISO guide 72 2.1 Identification of needs, requirements and analysis of critical issues

ISO 9001:2000 5.2 Customer focus 7.2.1 Determination of requirements related to the product

ISO 14001:2004 4.3.1 Environmental aspects 4.3.2 Legal and other requirements

OHSAS 18001:2000 4.3.1 Planning for hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control 4.3.2 Legal and other requirements

3.2 Management of human resources

6.2.1 General 6.2.2 Competence, awareness and training

4.4.2 Competence, training and awareness

4.4.2 Training, awareness and competence

5.2 Preventive action

8.5.3 Preventive action

4.5.3 Nonconformity, corrective action and preventive action

4.5.2 Accidents, incidents, nonconformity and corrective action

Fig. 2. Examples of cross-references between ISO Guide 72, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.

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The advantages of integration which is based on generic processes in different management systems are:  More focus on interrelations e synergies as well as trade-offs e between quality, environment, occupational health and safety, and social accountability;  Objectives and targets are established, coordinated and balanced;  Organisation and responsibilities are defined in one place. A practical example of benefits from integration could be a procedure for welding, where the quality demands for the welding process are described together with the way in which waste is handled and also what kind of health and safety rules and equipment the employee has to apply. A risk of integration is the creation of a ranking system for the different areas of responsibility, e.g. that more attention is paid to quality than to environmental issues. On the other hand, the potential is that environment, health and safety and corporate social responsibility can climb higher up on the agenda of organisations, both if combined with an ISO 9001 quality system; and also if the organisation handles the responsibilities in a coordinated way. Typically, the organisation already has a quality management system and then later it integrates environmental procedures etc. If the environmental management system is added by ‘‘cut and paste’’, it creates a risk of neglecting or underestimating the environmental issues compared to quality [16]. For organisations producing products with high quality demands and substantial documentation requirements, for instance in the car manufacturing industry, it must be considered, whether quality issues should be kept in a separate management system. The level of integration that an organisation decides to pursue in the design of its management system(s) will depend on both the complexity of its current management system(s) and on the motives of the organisation to pursue integration [17]. Different approaches have different consequences for the degree of integration: add-on of new standards (system), versus opportunity to reorganise firm and have common understanding of generic processes, versus focus on the learning organisation based on interaction with internal and external stakeholders. Zwetsloot [18, p.121] expressed the concern that actions on specific problems in each subject area require, but may also obstruct, the creation of an integrated system. In order to create positive interactions between the fields of management, a positive vision is required. Also the main approach should be prevention-at-thesource, because the predominantly, negative relationships between the aspects occur when an add-on

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approach is used. Thus, adopting a pro-active approach to problem solving in the different areas provides an opportunity of integration, which can be advantageous, in the long run [18]. This can be interpreted as a call for a more ambitious integration than just of system and process aspects. Issues such as the organisation’s structure, size, market competition and regulatory demands have a decisive influence, when an organisation decides whether to integrate or not, as well as for the level of integration. Further research needs to be performed to examine these issues more closely. In a research project by Hines [2] conducted in South Wales in the UK including 12 small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and seven large enterprises, it was found that the SMEs were less interested in IMS than the large organisations. One reason was a defensive approach towards the intrusion of a new system which might erode the position of the present system manager. The tradition of handling these issues separately can be deeply rooted in the organisation. The senior managers in positions above quality and environmental managers have a better understanding of the overlap and duplication of different management systems and also the strategic considerations of building an IMS that responds more effectively to changes in external conditions [2]. On the other hand, an experience from Danish SME’s is that they prefer some kind of integrated management system, since the managers often have combined duties; because they are dealing with several areas of responsibility at the same time and are opponents of systems that are too formal [16,19]. This gives SMEs the strength of flexibility, but this here-andnow orientation can be linked to downplaying strategic and long-term perspectives. A basic condition for an integrated management system is a shared understanding of organisations and how they operate. In textbooks on quality management, the old versions of ISO 9000 have always been illustrated as a pyramid e symbolising a stable organisation with clear policy, procedures and instructions on the strategic, tactic and operational levels. The bureaucratic organisation is concerned with producing the same quality of products every time. Therefore, ISO 9000 was often criticised for being static, resulting in too much paperwork and having too much focus on the system [20e22]. The criticism of Total Quality Management (TQM) was especially its stress upon the importance of top management commitment, employee participation as well as creating a quality culture. This criticism has partly been reflected in the ISO 14001 standard, which is always illustrated as a spiral with a focus on the iterative process of activities such as policy, planning, implementation, etc. in order to create continuous improvements. The dynamic understanding of organisations fits much

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better with the need for process and product innovations in most industries, and for the moment, it seems to be the turning point for formulation of standards [23]. The development from a focus on structure and systems towards attention to changes and processes can also be characterised as a move from ‘‘doing things right’’ to ‘‘doing the right things’’. However, the relation between system and process is not a question of neithernor. On the contrary, the system element of procedures and instructions can be regarded as the stabilising parts of organisations which secure the dynamic and generic processes of coordination and continuous improvements.

4. Integration e organisational embeddedness and stakeholder relations Correspondence between system elements and generic processes of coordination are important parts of building up an IMS, but integration can be even more ambitious regarding the internal embeddedness and the external interactions with stakeholders. In order to secure continuous improvements of performance, to bring about competitive advantage as well as to move towards sustainable development, then IMS has to be embedded throughout the organisation and in all stakeholder relations. The preconditions for this level of integration seem to be:  A shared understanding of internal and external challenges;  A learning organisation and a culture of responsibility;  Interactions with stakeholders.

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the main elements of TQM like involvement, teamwork, education, training, commitment and leadership. Hines [2] suggests a team-based approach to problems and solutions in IMS and equal credence to the input of ideas and actions from all employees to the structures and procedures developed by management. TQM has always emphasised the embeddedness in the organisational culture and the active participation of employees etc. In other words, integration is more about culture, learning and employees than about common system elements and generic processes. To what degree has environmental and social responsibility become part of doing business? If sustainability has become institutionalised throughout operational and strategic decisions based on a shared understanding, cognitive takenfor-granted beliefs, normative values etc., then IMS has become institutionalised in the organisation and has transcended the traditional focus on system and processes. ‘‘In the vision of unification, the term TQM would represent, in formal terms, all the management systems in the organisation, given that it is not possible to satisfy the external customer without satisfying the internal customers. Only in this manner will the interests of all the organization’s stakeholders (employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers and society) be conveniently satisfied.’’ [24]. If social and environmental responsibility has become institutionalised in an organisation, then it will also be reflected in the interaction with stakeholders, and will influence the way in which the organisation engages in stakeholder relations and also how external challenges are interpreted. 4.2. The learning organisation

4.1. A shared understanding A synergy between the different responsibilities of an integrated management system as well as ‘real’ continuous improvement of the performance is most likely to be created with high-level ambitions regarding integration. ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 have requirements for continuous improvements, but the adoption of the standards is not a guarantee that improvements will be made. A shared understanding of the generic processes is an important step, and furthermore to secure ‘real’ continuous improvements, the management system has to be embedded internally across the organisation and externally throughout all stakeholder relations. Wilkinson and Dale [1] point out that an IMS should have a common system concept with no significant differences in the scope of the IMS. Further, they emphasise the need for a strong culture, which supports

The embeddedness of IMS in an organisation gives attention to how the different responsibilities are part of the organisational culture as well as to how the organisation is capable of adapting to new challenges on the journey to becoming ‘the learning organisation.’ The learning processes are essential in order to prevent defects in the design or redesign of systems and to secure continuous adaptation to new challenges. To support a continuing learning process, an educational policy and a high quality supply of information and internal communication are essential. The organisational synergy of the positive interactions between the general management and the different management systems increases the innovative capability, the problem-solving capability and the ability to learn [25]. The responsibility for quality, environmental and social issues in the whole product chain together with continuous improvements is putting new demands on enterprises regarding building up the dynamic and

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innovative capabilities. An integrated management system will require continuous rebuilding, updating and innovation within the different areas of the management system. Without having personally and collectively integrated the related values, the norms, and the understanding of a desired behaviour will not last; the risk is that it will only occur incidentally and hence, it will not be manifested on an on-going basis. Culture is seen as an enabler for improvements of performance, however, culture and learning is a blind spot for ISO standards, so the challenge for organisations is to embed the different responsibilities as an organisational culture [1]. Organisations with multiple suppliers, customers and stakeholders might need to have separate groups dealing with mainly quality, environment, occupational health and safety and social accountability because each area needs different types of expert knowledge. However, at the same time, the groups must work closely together and have an understanding of the issues and impacts related to the other areas of responsibility. Co-operation between the groups and across the departments is necessary in order to reduce trade-offs between the different areas of responsibility, for instance when developing new products. In this sense, cross-functional groups, teamwork, knowledge management etc. become central issues in order to secure the embeddedness of an integrated management system throughout the organisation.

4.3. Interaction and co-operation with stakeholders On a global market with focus on innovation and product differentiation, organisations have to understand changes among the stakeholders through cooperation, transparency and dialogue. The challenge is to embed the responsiveness in an IMS and in the organisational culture in order to adapt to new demands as well as to internal and external conditions. Until now, the existing management standards for quality, environment, occupational health and safety, primarily point at the internal activities of the organisation. However, as emphasised earlier, the revised ISO 9001:2000 standard now pays attention to customers and continuous improvements; even though this has not been realised by every organisation with a quality management system. At the same time, environmental management systems become more product-oriented, and concepts such as life cycle management (LCM) and product-oriented environmental management systems (POEMS) are becoming popular in the industry and among stakeholders [23,26]. In fact, the discussions on IMS totally lack the perspective of integration with the more product-related standards within the ISO 14000 family such as e.g. ISO 14062 on Eco-design, ISO 14063 on Environmental Communication, and the ISO 14040

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series on Life Cycle Assessment. A health and safety system mainly focuses within the enterprise, but Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and SA 8000 have expanded the social responsibility along the product chain. In order to contribute to sustainable development, organisations have to expand social and environmental responsibility for their own production to the different actors up- and downstream the product chain [27,28]. For organisations this challenge makes it important to co-operate with the actors in the product chain and other stakeholders in order to improve the conditions of quality, environment, occupational health and safety and social responsibility in the whole product life cycle. The question is, how far does the organisations’ responsibility go, and the answer seems to be that the fields and ranges of responsibility are continuously increasing, reflecting the global product chains and depending on the expectations of stakeholders.

5. Initiatives promoting IMS in Denmark and Spain In recent years the standards for management systems have become more compatible, and organisations may need support in order to understand the common principles and approaches to IMS. For this reason, several countries, such as New Zealand, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Spain have developed or are developing their own IMS standard. This section compares the development of IMS in Denmark and Spain, and the experience so far. The empirical basis is interviews with Dansk Standard and AENOR (the Danish and Spanish organisations for standardisation, respectively) about their current development of a standard for IMS. Interviews were also conducted with lead auditors and organisations about their experience with implementation of management systems and about their interests in IMS. In Denmark, more than 50% of the organisations with a certified environmental management system (ISO 14001 or/and EMAS) also have a certified quality management system. Most of the organisations have chosen to integrate quality and environment into one system [16]. Out of approximately 165 organisations certified according to OHSAS 18001 and with the possibility of integrating with ISO 9001 and/or ISO 14001, the estimation is that more than 50% of the organisations have integrated at least parts of the systems. The corresponding, coordinated and coherent level is the dominating choice for the organisations with an IMS in Denmark. So far, certification according to SA 8000 has only been achieved in one Danish organisation, but the awareness of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasing [29].

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In Spain, Villasen˜or [30] expects that approximately 10% of the organisations will be able to deal with an IMS and different levels of integration. Few studies have been made about the degree of management systems integration in Spain, so this needs to be examined more closely. According to a study about the status of integration in Andalucı´ a (a region in the south of Spain) approximately 55% of the organisations with certified quality and environmental management systems have developed an integrated system. Almost 30% of the organisations have implemented an IMS for quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management system [31]. Corporate social responsibility is a relatively new concept in Spain, and organisations are becoming increasingly interested in CSR-related issues. One indicator of this interest is for instance that Fore´tica has developed a certifiable management system for CSR named SGE-21. So far, Spanish organisations have not really integrated CSR. This means that at the moment, IMS in Spain generally refers to quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. Otherwise, the interest of Spanish organisations in CSR is growing and currently an increasing number of non-profit organisations are working to improve the management of CSR issues.

5.1. Development of an IMS standard by Dansk standard in Denmark ‘‘One organisation, one system’’ is the slogan for the development of an integrated management standard in Denmark. A first draft was made in autumn 2003 and discussed in a broad group of interested stakeholders. The first draft was criticised for not being coherent, since it consisted of three different approaches to an integrated standard: a strategic management approach, a system based approach such as in the old ISO 9001 and a process-based approach such as the ISO 14001. The main critique was that there was no outline as to how the approaches could be linked together in a coherent way. The system and process-based approach has already been discussed earlier. The reason for the strategic approach in the draft was an impression in Dansk Standard that organisations in general do not emphasise enough, the overall corporate governance. Therefore, special attention is given to this issue and illustrated as separate level one (Fig. 3). The common system and process elements on the second level are the generic platform for IMS and then level three contains the different fields of management, which an organisation can chose to integrate into its IMS. The strategic dimension is defined at the corporate level as follows [7]:

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 Mission: Why are we here?  Vision: Where do we want to be in 4e5 years?  Strategy: How do we want to do that? The second level (see Fig. 3) is a mix of system and process elements including policy, targets, procedures and instructions. This is based on the ISO 9004:2000 standard and the methodology known as ‘‘planedoe checkeact’’. The focus of the new guideline is on the system and the processes, not on the specific areas such as quality, environment, occupational health and safety, and social accountability [7]. The second draft from summer 2004 has the same general structure: a strategic part on good corporate governance, a part on the common system and process elements, and annexes on each of the relevant standards for quality, environment, etc. There were two major critics of the second draft. First of all the strategic perspective is mainly seen as an internal strategy of the organisation. Though, an internal strategy can also be a reflection on outside conditions, the draft did not really attach importance to stakeholders and external challenges. Secondly, too much attention was given to the system elements such as common procedures compared to the process-based elements necessary in order to secure continuous improvements. The third and final drafts from the winter of 2004e2005 have a better balance between processes and system elements e with the latter in a supportive role for the generic processes in an integrated management system. 5.2. Development of an IMS guide and certification by AENOR in Spain AENOR, the Spanish organisation for standardisation, understands integration as the evolution of the different management systems in an organisation, and has also experienced a demand for an IMS by its clients [30]. AENOR has given an answer to the market trend by launching the ‘‘Integrated Management Systems Certification.’’ This certification can be used for organisations with an IMS for quality and environment. The occupational health and safety issue is not included. By February 2005, 66 organisations had been certified. AENOR is currently developing a Spanish guideline called: Guide for the development of the integration strategy in companies (developed by AEN/CTN 66 SC 1/ GT 4 ‘‘Systems Integration’’). The aim is to assist organisations when choosing the suitable level of integration according to the organisation’s structure, and to develop a strategy in order to obtain more effective results than before. The guideline consists of guidance and recommendations for the integration and is not intended for certification [30]. The guide has the following structure: first it recommends an initial check of the organisation regarding the

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Excellent management of management systems

Common elements in an integrated management system

Quality

Environment

Energy

Occupational health and Food safety Economy safety

Risk

Social responsibility

Other

Fig. 3. Dansk Standard’s model for an Integrated Management System (IMS) [32].

current situation of the management systems and regulatory requirements as well as of needs and expectations of all stakeholders and identification of existing resources. Afterwards, the organisation has to analyse the advantages and barriers of implementing IMS and, finally, with these data the organisation can choose the most suitable type of integration according to its structure. There are two recommended models of integration in the guide:  Model 1: Partial integration. Integration of some common procedures from the three management systems;  Model 2: Total integration. This model goes beyond common procedures and involves an integration based on a process approach and continuous improvement like in ISO 9001:2000. Expectations to the use of the guide in organisations are great according to Villasen˜or [30], who bases the expectation on the fact that there are 1500 AENOR clients who are both certified according to a quality and an environmental management system.

6. Conclusions Integration is the solution e and depending on the understanding and level of ambition behind an integrated management system, it is a solution to many different problems. Integration as correspondence between different standards with cross-references and perhaps even a common handbook can give several administrative benefits for organisations such as to save time and resources and to secure an alignment between the demands of the different standards. Correspondence is a solution to the problems related to bureaucracy, duplication of work tasks, and confusion between different standards. Another solution to the same problems could be to build up the systems based on active employee participation, which can secure

that the system fits with the organisation and is implemented in practise at the same time. Integration as coordination which is based on a common understanding of the generic processes of policy, planning, implementation, checking and corrective action, and management review gives potential benefits such as description of responsibilities, examination of synergies and trade-offs, alignment of policy, objectives and targets etc. Coordination is a solution to problems related to managing tasks and projects across different functional units and departments. Matrixorganisations, project groups, etc. can be other kinds of complementary solutions to the same problems. A standard for IMS comprising the different areas of responsibility in the organisations and their stakeholder relations might be the next step for ISO to develop. With the organisations’ interest in integration and several national initiatives to publish standards for IMS, it seems that the ground is fertile for such an ISO standard. As in the case of the Danish and the Spanish standard for IMS to outline the processes, the system elements as well as the interrelations are probably as far as most standards for IMS will get, since the institutionalised and inherent form of integration is more difficult to describe and formalise in a standard. Nevertheless, integration as a strategic and inherent approach is a solution to problems related to achieving ‘real’ continuous improvement such as improved competitive advantages and contributing to sustainable development. Management commitment, employee motivation and participation, changes in routines and traditions etc. are the challenges in order to have IMS institutionalised throughout the organisation and within its stakeholder relations. In any case, competitive advantages can be achieved, if the organisations combine the new focus on customers in the quality system with a focus on the products in the environmental management system. This can create a synergy between quality and environment (and health and safety and social aspects) as well as more focus on continuous improvements and product innovations e compared to the traditional focus on the production process. Furthermore, this also involves the

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challenge of expanding the focus of the systems to include the whole product chain, which also corresponds to a similar focus in Corporate Social Responsibility. There is not ‘‘one best way’’ of managing these responsibilities in practice, since the context and conditions of organisations are diverse in different countries. Organisations that are committed to contribute to a sustainable development have already, in one way or another, have assigned employees with different responsibilities in the organisation. However, this is just the first step. In order to ‘‘walk the talk’’, the responsibilities for quality, environment, health and safety and social aspects have to be integrated throughout the organisational culture because of the fact that these responsibilities are inherent in every single aspect of the organisations’ activities from procurement, to product design and production to sale and marketing.

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