Integration of quality management and environmental management systems

Juan José Tarí (Department of Business Management, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain)
José F. Molina‐Azorín (Department of Business Management, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Publication date: 5 October 2010



Quality management (QM) and environmental management (EM) systems have several similarities. These parallels may facilitate the development of an integrated system (QEM system). A QEM system is a full, single system where quality and environmental issues are taken into account at the same time, and where QM and EM systems lose their independence. The purpose of this paper is to identify the main benefits to be derived from the integration of QM and EM systems, and to use the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) model as a bridge toward the implementation of a QEM system.


First, an extensive literature review about the parallels between QM and EM systems is conducted. Second, the criteria of the EFQM model are taken into account to develop an integrated system.


The literature review identifies several similarities between QM and EM systems, including the reasons to implement them, benefits derived from their adoption, positive influence on cost and differentiation positions, development of hard‐to‐imitate capabilities, and common implementation factors. In addition, the EFQM model provides enablers and results criteria that may be useful for the development and implementation of an integrated QEM system.


This study is based on both a literature review and an analysis of the EFQM model. Based on this review and on the EFQM model, the contribution of this study lies in the fact that it proposes ideas and insights for managers, and other stakeholders, interested in QM and EM systems (e.g. consultants and policy makers) to develop a commitment to quality and environmental issues through an integrated system.



José Tarí, J. and Molina‐Azorín, J. (2010), "Integration of quality management and environmental management systems", The TQM Journal, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 687-701.

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