Sustainable Quality - a multilayered task
The Goal of Sustainable Development in Quality
"Total Quality Management (TQM) plus sustainable development equals sustainable excellence.”
Jean-Luc Guitard, Managing Director of Dexia Sofaxis of France describes the important role quality management is playing in pursuing sustainable development.
Quality in modern industry is like sustainable development seen as a holistic approach, where all parts of a process are interconnected and the interests of the society, the environment, the company and its employees and the customers are to be taken into account. This is normaly done using the tool of "TQM".
TQM is a management philosophy that supports the process of continuous improvement within an organization and where total emphasis is placed on the customer. In the socioeconomic viewpoint, TQM defines the customer as all members of society and facets of environment that interact with the activities of the company.
So better quality means less pollution, longer durability, product features according to the wishes of the customers, safe and healthy production environments.
The very nature of TQM, and how it is implemented, requires sustainable development policy consideration. If it is not considered, then quality management for that firm will be likely fail, and it will probably lose its competitive advantage.
A company that integrates sustainable development within its TQM management processes can set itself apart from the competition, and perhaps force its competitors to include sustainable development within their own operational considerations as well, thereby benefiting society as a whole.