Your Business Sustainability Partner

Sustainable Mangement Systems

Operational Management Governance
- Quality
- Cost
- Productivity
- Materials & Logistics
- Natural Resource
- GHG Emission
- Waste Management
- Water Management
- Decent labour practices
- Supply Chain compliance
- Corporate Social
  Responsibility (CSR)
- Ethics, Integrity
- Risk Management
- Sustainability
- Public Disclosure
Sustainability is a triple bottom line word and therefore always would refer to as Economic Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability & Social Sustainability
Sustainable Mangement Systems are those requiring Management that strives to accomplish all three (Economic, Environmental & social) stakeholder inclusivity. 
Management System
Merely looking at a management System as ISO 9001 based system, is to limit the definition of stakeholder to only Customers. We at E-Qual would like to believe the hitherto popular Quality Management System Standard (ISO 9001 or ISO 9001 based sector specific standards) as addressing only Quality, Cost, Productivity and would like to refer to them as Economic Standards addressing Quality Cost which is the issue pertinent to Investors & Customers
Commercial and non commercial organizations through their activities, tend to utilize Natural Resources, cause GHG emissions and generate waste. These are typical Environmental issues.  The Management System that addresses the issues of Environmental Stakeholders (particularly Government, United Nations and other multilateral organizations, local community etc.,) will be referred to as Environmental Management System Standards
Organizations deal with individuals and society and affect Labour, Local community and Global community. The issues range from Economic inequality, gender inequality, labour practices, social imbalance, global imbalance and so on. Therefore, they have to manage Labour Practices, Supply Chain socio economic issues, and demostrate Corporate Social Responsibility.  The Management System that addresses the issue of Social Stakeholders (employees, contract labour, society, media) will be referred to as Social Standards
Corporate Governance
Governance pins accountability. Management Systems have a major limitation in being descriptive on Accountability. They are more descriptive on Responsibility & Authorities while at the same time highly oblique on Accountability. Accountability is generally at the Top Management level and therefor Sustainable Management Systems would demand a good Corporate Governance system (a mix of Management system standard and Corporate Governance guidelines) that pins acoountability of performance at the Board of Governance / CEO / CSO / CS/CFO level. Such a robust sustainable mamangement system tracks stakeholder issue based performance indicators and reports these through globally recognized standard disclosure systems.  ISO 26000  , GRI G4 are a few available  framework, when adopted as a Management System Extension, would go a long way in establishing Sustainable Management System
Risk Management
It is all about Materiality. Sustainability is directly associated with issues that are Material to the organization and its stakeholders. Stakeholder inclusivity means identifying stakeholder issues, evaluating potential Hazard & Risk to stakeholders and applying Principle of Prevention / ALARP through effective control. Therefore a Sustainable Management System must use various Risk Management Standards (such as ISO 31000), Tools & Techniques such as (FMEA / HIRA / FMECA/ Onsite / off site ERP) as part of its Management System
The following diagram will illustrate this concept of Sustainable Management System
Concept Diagram


Why do we need Management System Standards?


An organization has the responsibility to all its stake holders. Each stake holder has some stated and unstated expectations from the organization. It is for the organizations to engage and fulfill stakeholder expectations - generic & specific.


In order to manage and carry on with sustainable development in the changing eco system within which the organization exists, Management System Standards are essential to derive guidance from


Broadly the responsibility , stake holders, Stakeholder expectation / issues and management system standards that can help understand generic requirements are as follows

Responsibility Stakeholders Expectation / Issues Standards
Economic Investors Return on Investment, Corporate governance, Responsible Business  

The regulators

Responsible Business (Price stability, Protecting the small investor, Preventing market misconduct)  
  Customers   Quality Products / Services ISO 9001
  Supply chain Profit share and sustainability  
  Employees Adequate benefit plan /Training / Career advancement  
  Government Taxes & compliance      
Environmental Local Community Free of Pollution, Optimal use of Natural Resources, Recycling, Product disposal ISO 14001
ISO 50001
  Global Community Global warming, Climate change, Depletion of Natural Resource  
  Local Government Compliance monitoring & Reporting  
  Central Government Compliance monitoring & Reporting  
Social Labour Occupational Health & Safety, Fair Labour practices BS OSHAS 18001
  Vistors Occupational Health & Safety  
  Contract workers Occupational Health & Safety, Fair Labour practices SA 8000
  Supply chain labour practices Occupational Health & Safety, Fair Labour practices  
  Local community Community benefits  
  Government Labor laws, Compliance monitoring & reporting, Community projects through CSR  
  End users of Products & Services Responsible Product & service  


Quality Council of India

Quality Council of India


Quality Council of India (QCI) was set up jointly by the Government of India and the Indian Industry represented by the three premier industry associations i.e. 

  1. Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), 
  2. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and 
  3. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), 

to establish and operate national accreditation structure and promote quality through National Quality Campaign.


National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies 

National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies 


The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies provides accreditation to Certification and Inspection Bodies based on assessment of their competence as per the Board's criteria and in accordance with International Standards and Guidelines. 

NABCB is internationally recognized and represents the interests of the Indian industry at international forums through membership and active participation with the objective of becoming a signatory to international Multilateral / Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MLA / MRA).


National Accreditation Board for Education and Training

National Accreditation Board for Education and Training


National Accreditation Board for Education and Training is a constituent Board of Quality Council of India. National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET) in recent years has enlarged its scope of activities and is trying to match its progress with Slogan of QCI i.e. "Working for National Well Being". With the growing needs of competent personnel and credible vocational training courses in various industry sectors, NABET has been rapidly expanding its scope of services to cater to the needs of the industry. NABET has established a mechanism for the accreditation of vocational training organizations and for skill assessment bodies.


National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)


National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is an autonomous body under the aegis of Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, and is registered under the Societies Act 1860. NABL has been established with the objective to provide Government, Industry Associations and Industry in general with a scheme for third-party assessment of the quality and technical competence of testing and calibration laboratories. Government of India has authorised NABL as the accreditation body for Testing and Calibration Laboratories. In order to achieve this objective, NABL provides laboratory accreditation services to laboratories that are performing tests / calibrations in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ISO 15189:2007 for medical laboratories. These services are offered in a non-discriminatory manner and are accessible to all testing and calibration laboratories in India and abroad, regardless of their ownership, legal status, size and degree of independence.


National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH)

National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH)


National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) is a constituent board of Quality Council of India, set up to establish and operate accreditation programme for healthcare organisations. the board is structured to cater to much desired needs of the consumers and to set benchmarks for progress of health industry. The board while being supported by all stakeholders including industry, consumers, government, have full functional autonomy in its operation


Standard domain

A Management system can be perceived as the frame work of the management processes and procedures used to ensure that an organization can fulfill all tasks required to achieve its policies, objectives and programs.

Management system enables organizations to improve their process performance through continuous improvement.

Basically, management systems follow the “Deming Cycle” called "Plan, Do, Check, Act". A comprehensive management system would include responsibility, authority and accountability (an assignment of personal responsibility) and a schedule for activities to be completed, as well as auditing tools to implement corrective actions in addition to scheduled activities, creating an upward spiral of continuous improvement.

Examples of management system standards include:

·         Quality Management,

·         HR management systems,

·         Information Technology Security Management,

·         Financial management systems,

·         Occupational Safety & Health Management Systems,

·         Environmental Management,

·         Energy Management System,

·         Food safety Management System,

·         Social Accountability or Societal Security Management System,


And so on

Management systems can be developed using several international benchmark standards as model. These standards themselves are evolved and continually updated by experts forming technical committees.

ISO is the biggest organization having resources to develop management systems that are popular world wide. Most generic management systems are developed by ISO


Sector specific management systems


Though generic management systems contain every principle of that management area, interpretation of these to specific sector, sometimes become complex. Therefore the sector agencies dvelop sector specific requirements that are unique to a sector, (say automobile, pharma etc.) incorporating best practices of the sector as sector generic requirements.


This way sector specifc standards derived from basic ISO or other standards, become popular in the sector. They are easily understood by the employees of organization in these sectors

Traditionally business sectors are classified as the primary sector (raw materials), the secondary sector (manufacturing) and the tertiary sector (sales and services)

However, with more and more industries each year, there is a need to classify them or group them so that they can dealt with specific requirements for each group.

There are many popular classification systems such as Thomson Reuters Business Classification, Standard Industrial Classification etc.

For example Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) is a system for classifying industries by a four-digit code.

What are SIC Codes used for?

  • The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) uses SIC codes when sorting company filings.

  • Professionals use SIC codes to segment markets

  • Companies that operate in a certain industry use a specific SIC code when filing with the SEC so that the type of business is properly identified.

  • Identifying government contracts by their SIC description.

  • To facilitate the collection, presentation, and analysis of data.

  • To promote uniformity and comparability in the presentation of statistical data collected by various agencies of the federal government, state agencies, and industry associations

Some examples of sector specific standards are 


ISO Guide 83

ISO Guide 83 is the document, that provides guidance to the committees responsible for developing new management system standards. 


Photo used under Creative Commons from Doug Scortegagna, ustung