Over recent years, the environment has become a more significant concern to the sustainability of the global business community and it poses serious challenges to individual organisations, affecting their development in the long term. Of the many factors involved, the main reason for the energy issue to draw concern from businesses may come from global government initiatives to reduce climate change and the increasing expense of obtaining natural resources to support daily operations.
The ISO 50001 standard had developed through the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) Project Committee of Energy Management (ISO/ PC 242), ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems (EnMS) Requirements with Guidance for Use. The standard was published in June 2011.
The ISO 50001 standard replaces the European EN 16001 standard and it defines the first international standards for an energy management system.
ISO 50001 is based on the management system model of continual improvement also used for other well-known standards such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001. This makes it easier for organisations to integrate energy management into their overall efforts to improve quality and environmental management.
The goal is to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions and energy costs. It can be applied to any type or size of the organisation, from small family businesses to the world’s largest corporations and government institutions.
Benefits of Adopting Energy Management System
By offering a systematic methodology for any size organisation, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to establish its own energy management system, ISO 50001 can provide organisations with a number of business benefits. These include:
- Helping to reduce energy use and carbon emissions in a systematic way;
- Reinforcing your company as one that is sustainable and environmentally responsible;
- Improving operational efficiency
- Creating a clear picture of current energy use, which will allow new goals and targets to be set;
- Evaluating and prioritising the implementation of new energy-efficient technologies and measures;
- Providing a framework to promote energy efficiency throughout the supply chain;
- Providing guidance on how to benchmark, measure, document and report corporate energy use;
- Making better use of energy-consuming assets, thus identifying potential methods to reduce maintenance costs or expand capacity;
- Demonstrating to stakeholders the corporate commitment to comply with best practices to protect the environment; and
- Fulfilling the associated regulatory requirements and responding with confidence to green trade barriers in the global market.
ISO 50001:2011 provides a framework of requirements for organisations to:
- Develop a policy for more efficient use of energy
- Fix targets and objectives to meet the policy
- Use data to better understand and make decisions about energy use
- Measure the results
- Review how well the policy works, and
- Continually improve energy management.
The 7 principles below are the essential attributes that any management team should possess in order to successfully operate an Environmental Management System in accordance with ISO 50001. The principles should serve as an indication of a framework for effective energy management.
- Progress Management: Ensuring operation of the EnMS is making progress against what was previously designed and agreed
- Change Management: Ensuring that the operation of the EnMS is in line with any changes that occur either internally or externally
- Operational Problem Resolution Management: Ensuring operational problems are dealt with swiftly; treating them as opportunities for improvement is vital
- Risk Management: Ensuring risk factors are evaluated in order to secure the position of continual improvement
- Preparation for Contingency: Possible emergency scenarios should be documented and procedures devised in order to make sure that appropriate safety levels are maintained at all times
- Document Management: Ensuring key documents are identified, maintained, updated and available when needed. Unnecessary bureaucracy should be avoided
- Objective and Target Achievement Evaluation Criteria: Top management should provide transparent and objective evaluation criteria for target achievement. This is key to a successful evaluation of progress or results
How ISO Consulting Services can help you
Please contact us if you need our hands to assist you for developing and establishing your management system in compliance with the requirements of ISO 50001 standard. We also offer a gap assessment service to find out how close you are to your ISO 50001 certificate.