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    ISO 50001 for Sustainable Energy Management System Implementation

    Mar 13, 2017 | Articles

    ISO 50001 for Sustainable Energy Management System Implementation

    Energy saving and management of cleaner energy usage are now more important than ever. There are regular debates over climate change, the effect of development and usage of energy on natural resources, the environment and health of living things, and the impact on the future of the earth. It is no longer acceptable to simply use energy without having some kind of policy in place to adopt and monitor best practices regarding these issues. Companies are called to be accountable for the energy they use, the impact of such energy usage, and the sustainability of their practices. The introduction of ISO 50001-compliant energy management systems seeks to address responsible and efficient usage of energy to ensure a sustainable future for the earth’s inhabitants and its resources.

    Energy management systems should not be confused with energy-saving projects. Though many organisations engage in related efforts for various reasons such as to save on costs, energy management systems are broader. Such systems include the measurement, policies, management, reviews, control, and improvement efforts on an ongoing basis to minimise the enterprise’s impact on the environment whilst also reducing cost of energy usage and management. An energy management system entails a range of processes that makes it possible for employees on all levels of an enterprise or organisation to use information for optimal management, maintenance, and improvement of energy performance, allowing for improvement of operational processes and efficiency while also reducing the organisation’s impact on the environment and reducing its energy usage.

    Companies worldwide are now implementing energy management systems in compliance with the requirements of ISO 50001. The standard provides the framework against which organisations can measure the effectiveness of their energy management systems. Becoming compliant helps to improve competitiveness, as international trading partners are looking for partners showing the same level of commitment to efficient energy usage. Compliance also helps to reduce wastage and improves cost management. At the end of the day, the compliant companies thus benefit from a better international standing and competitiveness in the local market, as well as an improved image with the local communities and businesses because of their commitment to a cleaner environment and reduced usage of energy.

    The adoption of an ISO 50001-compliant energy management system enables the enterprise to follow a systematic approach to the management of energy, ensuring sustainability of their practices. A total of 59 nations participated in the development of ISO 50001 for application to commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities regardless of industry or size. With the standard being similar to ISO 14001 and 9001 in terms of the management model, it is possible for organisations to implement an ISO 50001-compliant energy management system alongside their quality and environmental management systems.

    The standard specifically addresses:

    • How organisations use energy and manage their consumption levels.
    • How they measure, document, and report the above.
    • How they design and obtain equipment and systems related to energy.
    • How they develop energy management systems for optimal efficiency in energy usage.

    Steps to be Taken in Preparation of ISO 50001 Energy Management System Implementation

    The first step is to become familiar with the requirements of ISO 50001, and WWISE can assist through consultation and training regarding the standard. The organisation should develop a compliant energy policy with commitment from the executive management regarding implementation and ongoing compliance. A management representative should be appointed for implementation of the system and a team of representatives appointed for every main division of the enterprise. The scope and application boundaries of the management system must be decided. The next step is to implement the system, which includes an energy review for identification of current important energy usages, levels of consumption, and means to improve efficiency. The company should set a baseline for energy usage and identify relevant key performance indicators for measurement and monitoring of the energy usage.

    Successful implementation benefits the company and environment in the following ways:

    • Lower level of greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Lower carbon footprint.
    • Compliance with the country’s environmental legislation.
    • Improved alignment of the EnMS with management systems currently in place.
    • More cost savings regarding energy usage.
    • Higher level of energy awareness amongst employees.
    • No trial-and-error mistakes to correct.
    • Improved credibility with clients and business partners.
    • More efficient operation and thus improved profits.
    • Reduced risk to the environment.

    Though the standard provides the requirements for its implementation, it does not set definitive requirements regarding the performance of the enterprise in terms of energy usage. What it does state is that the enterprise must endeavour to achieve the objectives as set out in the enterprise policy document. Following a Plan-Do-Check-Act approach, the standard provides the framework for ongoing improvement in energy usage, which can be applied at any level of the organisation and all its energy usages. “Plan” relates to the energy review to get a baseline for indicators regarding energy performance. “Do” entails actual implementation of the action plans while ”Check” entails ongoing monitoring of the performance. “Act” relates to the actions needed for ongoing management of the energy usage and improvement thereof.

    Training forms an integral part of setting up the energy management system. WWISE offers an extensive range of related training courses including ISO 50001 implementation, environmental legislation, internal and external auditing, lead auditing and ISO 14001. We furthermore assist in internal and external audits with external audits related to ISO 50001 certification. The internal audits as related to GAP analyses enable enterprises to identify shortcomings and to make the necessary improvements. It is important to also set up the maintenance plan, which includes regular management reviews to gauge the performance of the system. We also assist in this regard.

    Integration of the energy management system with current management systems such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 management systems enable the enterprise to save on costs of management and to ensure streamlining of all the management systems. We provide expert advice and guidance regarding the integration process, which ultimately will help the client to minimise costs and ensure optimal efficiency of all the systems in compliance with the requirements of the various standards.