A very happy 5th birthday to the ISO 50001 standard!
It is not surprising to see that more and more organisations are turning to the ISO 50001 standard to improve their energy efficiency. To date there are more than 7,000 sites worldwide that have achieved the certification.
But what is ISO 50001*?
ISO 50001 is a voluntary International Standard developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) to provide organisations an internationally recognised framework to manage and improve their energy performance.
The standard addresses the following:
• Energy use and consumption
• Measurement, documentation, and reporting of energy use and consumption
• Design and procurement practices for energy-using equipment, systems, and processes
• Development of an energy management plan and other factors affecting energy performance that can be monitored and influenced by the organization.
• ISO 50001 does require continual energy performance improvement but it does not include prescriptive energy performance improvement goals. Rather, it provides a framework through which each organisation can set and pursue its own goals for improving energy performance.
ISO 50001 is based on the same management system model of continual improvement used for ISO 9001 and 14001. This compatibility makes it easier for organisations to integrate energy management into their quality and environmental management efforts. However, ISO 50001 adds new data-driven sections related to energy planning, operational control & measuring and monitoring.
By implementing an energy management system (EnMS), organisations can cut costs, minimise energy waste and reduce their carbon footprint. Energy-related costs can actually be controlled and by putting an energy management in place, it will allow organisations to identify the activities that consumed the most energy.
Organisations do not have to be certified to ISO 50001 to improve their energy management. Saying that, the certification will allow organisations to adopt a more structured approach in their energy efficiency goals. By putting an internal policy in place, organisations will also notice a significant behavioural change among their staff. Caring about the environment, saving on resources and reducing carbon emissions should be the duty of every single human being. We owe it to our children to think about tomorrow.
* As explained on http://www.energy.gov/