A Training Programme on Life Cycle Management Tools

Navigator in Focus - Presenting the Tools

Integrated Management Systems (IMS)

Content description -
Captain's log
Training description -
Captain's route
Training material -
Captain's reference

An Integrated Management System (IMS) is a system of interconnected parts, comprising of planning, implementing, checking and carrying out corrective action. Its goal is to manage the aspects that have or can have an impact throughout the life cycle. Examples for the latter are the end-results leading to changes beyond the company such as solvent emissions, wastewater effluents, noise, etc. Life cycle aspects on the other hand would be the processes or activities within the companies' control that cause, directly or indirectly, those impacts.

Integrated Management Systems allow a planned, thoughtful and long-term action while being open to adjustments and corrections. This could for example be a leap from voluntary, singular "doing good" to incorporation of environmental policy into the company's operations.

When utilising an Integrated Management System, one can either build up an own one or stay in line with the industry standards like the Environmental Management System ISO 14001 or the Social Responsibility Standard ISO 26000 which will be published in 2010. An IMS integrates economic as well as environmental and social aspects. As a starting point, when developing an own IMS workable for a small enterprise, it is advisable to take the easy-remembered "Plan, Do, Check, Act" cycle, introduced as a general management concept commonly known as Deming-Circle.