This paper investigates the importance of quality management practices for the success of environmental management initiatives. It has been recently established that sustainability initiatives whether in terms of social or environmental investments can improve organizational performance. Additionally, some authors have suggested striking similarities between environmental and quality practices and argued that a well functioning quality management system is a prerequisite for a successful environmental management system. However, it may be the case that having a well functioning quality management system enables a company to reap higher returns from its environmental management practices. The aim of this paper is to explore the role of quality management in the environmental management - performance relationship. Specifically, we assess whether or not quality management practices interact with environmental practices to drive operational performance. This question was tested with survey data collected from 1142 plants. The study makes significant contributions to the quality and sustainability literature and implications are drawn to practice.