Quality, Process Improvement and Pollution Prevention

Quality improvement is a systematic method for improving processes to better meet customer requirements and expectations. Most quality improvement models follow the Plan -- Do -- Study -- Act model. Most environmental issues are closely tied to process efficiency. If you create less waste in the first place (pollution prevention), your process will be more efficient. Not surprisingly, most pollution prevention efforts also follow the Plan -- Do -- Study -- Act model. Many of the tools used in quality improvement efforts can also be used for pollution prevention (P2) efforts.

Criteria used to judge a company's success in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award include pollution prevention concepts. "Continuous improvement and learning" emphasizes seeking to eliminate problems at their source. "Design quality and prevention" emphasizes problem and waste prevention achieved through building quality into products and services and efficiency into production and delivery processes. For ideas on how Ohio companies have combined quality and pollution prevention, review these case studies.

Tools for Quality and P2

You may already be using many quality tools that can be easily adapted to help you reduce waste through process improvements.


Assessing your company's processes using quality awards criteria can help you improve performance and reduce waste.

Total Quality Environmental Management (TQEM)

Incorporate P2 in your existing business and quality managment systems.

More Quality and Process Improvement Information

Try these links for more information on quality.

*Although Ohio EPA cannot endorse, sanction or guarantee the accuracy of information found on external websites, we think you might find these outside links useful. When you select a link to an external website, you are leaving Ohio EPA's website and are subject to the privacy, security and accessibility policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site.