Over 50 attendees packed the conference room in Farmington Hills, Michigan, to hear a variety of subject matter experts discuss the implications of implementing ISO 14001 into a QS 9000 system. Attendees came from as far away as Texas and Louisiana to get firsthand news on this important development.
The event, cosponsored by the Energy and Environmental Division and the Automotive Division, was aimed at providing EED expertise to AD members. Several months in the planning, the event was intended to be a practical workshop giving information that could be applied immediately.
The day was kicked off by Ron Atkinson, chair of the Automotive Division, who welcomed the attendees to Detroit, and spoke briefly about the status of the sector.
John Mooney from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 in Chicago discussed EPA’s position on environmental management in his talk "Introduction to Environmental Regulations and Their Impact on the Automotive Industry." He spent much of his time describing how companies and EPA can work together to achieve implementation and compliance. His talk was well received and sparked several probing questions from the audience.
Eric Madsen of EarthTech spoke on "The Requirements of ISO14001" and tied in several other talks with an overall perspective of the requirements and how they fit in with QS 9000. His presentation covered all aspects of the standard and provided linkages to applicable QS elements, as well as pointing out what additional requirements would be needed to fully comply with the standard.
Denise Lank of Team Environmental presented the perspective of "ISO 14001/QS 9000 Integration from an Auditor’s Perspective." A lead EMS auditor and a QMS auditor, Denise was able to tap her extensive auditing experiences to share what an auditor typically sees when auditing both of these standards in one facility. Her views on ease of integration and ease of implementation were key pieces of information to the audience.
Vaughn Busch spoke on integration of ISO 14001 into a QMS from the practitioner’s standpoint and brought along several examples of how his company approached the integration, including charts, timetables, and responsibility matrices. The information was a clear roadmap for how one company has implemented the standards and was very well received by the attendees.
I spoke on "Identifying Environmental Aspects and Impacts." This important element of ISO 14001 needs to be done well to serve as a basis for implementation. The talk centered on the use of tools familiar to the QS community and how to use those tools for ISO 14001. Several attendees asked probing questions to clarify the application for use back at their facilities.
I also spoke on "An ISO14001 Implementation Strategy" as a wrap-up to the day. This presentation attempted to tie all the key information that had been presented into a summary format to reinforce the key concepts of the standard. Discussion tied in the various aspects of the presentations that had been given throughout the day, and attendees left the conference with a toolkit of ideas, strategies, and examples of implementation.