ISO 50001

What is ISO 50001?

ISO 50001 is the international standard that is designed to help organisations to establish the systems and processes necessary to manage energy efficiency, use and consumption. The overall objective of the standard is to reduce workplace environmental impact and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs.

At the heart of ISO 50001 is the creation and operation of an Energy Management System (EnMS) that defines an organisations energy management and use reduction objectives and puts in place systems and processes to ensure these are achieved. ISO 50001 procedurally has much in common with ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 and incorporates a continuous improvement philosophy based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.


What does it apply to?

This Standard is applicable to "all types and sizes of organizations, irrespective of geographical, cultural or social conditions" - even one person organisations. Clearly everyone can help – both the environment and themselves by reducing emissions and lowering energy costs.


How do I achieve ISO 50001?

The starting point for ISO 50001 is top management commitment to the concept of structured energy management.

With this commitment in place the Planning phase of EnMS development can begin. This will include the definition of the organisations energy policy – a statement of the organisations commitment to energy use reduction and continual improvement. This sets the strategic direction that the EnMS seeks to achieve. The energy planning phase examines current energy use and practice and uncovers opportunities for improvement. This includes a detailed energy audit which is then used as the baseline.

In addition Energy Performance Indicators (EPIs) are identified to facilitate on-going measurement of energy performance. Energy objectives (targets) are identified and action plans established to ensure these targets are met in operation.

The implementation and operation or the Do phase mirrors many of the activities that will be familiar from operation of an ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System. Notably training, communication and awareness, documentation and document control, operational control and design and procurement – in this case specifically of energy related products and services.

The Check or review phase again shares many features with ISO 9001 including monitoring, non-conformance, corrective and preventative action. A vital element of this phase is of course auditing of the EnMS. Auditing ensures that your system continues to conform to the requirements of the standard. The output from the management review informs how your organisation will Act to ensure objectives are met and continual improvement is maintained. Any required changes are then planned as the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle begins once more.


What about certification?

To ensure maximum benefit is achieved from ISO 50001 we recommend independent third party certification by a UKAS Accredited assessment body.


Benefits of ISO 50001 Certification

There are a number of benefits from the implementation of ISO 50001. Key amongst these are:

  • Improved control of energy use
  • On-going reduction in energy use and costs
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Helping to meet current and future energy legislation
  • Improving the image of your organisation

In addition the implementation process itself may lead other beneficial process improvements.