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    What is ISO 50001:2018 and how does an EnMS work?

    ISO 50001:2018 is an internationally recognised standard for energy management systems (EnMS). It provides a systematic approach to help any organisation improve energy performance, reduce energy consumption, and lower energy costs.

    ISO 50001:2018 enables organisations to establish policies, procedures, and processes for effectively managing energy use, identifying energy-saving opportunities, and continually improving energy performance.

    Importance of an Energy Management System

    Effective energy management is essential for organisations to optimise energy use, reduce costs, and minimise environmental impact.

    • Energy management also helps organisations:
    • Lower costs
    • Improve environmental sustainability
    • Ensure regulatory compliance
    • Protect their reputation
    • Increase operational efficiency

    The key principles of ISO 50001:2018

    ISO 50001:2018, as an internationally recognised standard, is built upon several key principles aimed at promoting energy management within organisations.

    These principles include:

    1. Commitment to continuous improvement

    The standard emphasises the importance of ongoing improvement in energy performance. The commitment includes setting targets, implementing actions to achieve them, continually monitoring and reviewing energy performance.

    1. Systematic approach

    The standard advocates for a systematic approach to energy management, integrating energy considerations into organisational processes and decision-making. This ensures that energy management becomes integrated within the organisation’s culture.

    1. Data-driven decision making

    Emphasising the importance of data collection, analysis and interpretation to make effective energy management decisions. By relying on accurate data, organisations can identify areas for improvement and track progress effectively.

    1. Engagement and communication

    Successful implementation of an EnMS relies on the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, from top management to frontline employees. Effective communication ensures that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in achieving energy management objectives.

    1. Legal and regulatory conformance

    Conformance with applicable energy-related laws, regulations, and other requirements is a fundamental aspect of ISO 50001:2018. Organisations must ensure that their energy management system align with both legal obligations and industry standards.

    The ten clauses of ISO 50001:2018

    Like all other management systems, ISO 50001:2018, has been divided into ten clauses, each addressing specific aspects of energy management.

    Scope: The first clause defines the scope of the ISO 50001:2018 standard and specifies the boundaries of the EnMS within the organisation.

    Normative references: This clause deals with any referenced documents essential for understanding and implementing the standard.

    Terms and definitions: Provides definitions of key terms used throughout ISO 50001:2018 to ensure clarity and consistency in interpretation.

    Context of the organisation: Clause four requires organisations to consider internal and external factors that may impact their energy performance and the effectiveness of their EnMS. This includes but is not limited to top management, government bodies, customers and suppliers.

    Leadership: Emphasises the importance of leadership and the role of top management’s commitment and involvement in establishing and maintaining the EnMS.

    Planning: This clause covers the process of identifying energy-related risks and opportunities, setting energy objectives, targets, and planning the actions required to achieve them.

    Support: Clause seven addresses resources, competence, awareness, communication, and the documentation necessary to support the EnMS.

    Operation: Focuses on the implementation of planned actions to control energy use and improve energy performance

    Performance evaluation: Involves monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation of energy performance and the effectiveness of the EnMS.

    Improvement: This clause requires each organisation to take corrective actions, continually improve energy performance, and enhance the effectiveness of the implemented EnMS.

    Benefits of implementing ISO 50001:2018

    The benefits an organisation receives when implementing ISO 50001:2018 includes but are not limited to:

    • Saving costs by identifying energy efficiency opportunities and reducing energy consumption.
    • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Aligning energy management practices with relevant laws and regulatory requirements.
    • Enhancing the organisation’s reputation among stakeholders, including customers, investors, and regulators.
    • ISO 50001:2018 helps organisations identify and manage energy-related risks, such as supply chain disruptions, energy price fluctuations, and regulatory changes.
    • Being ISO 50001:2018 certified provides a competitive advantage.
    • Encouraging engagement and cooperation among employees, suppliers and customers.
    • Continuously improve through the ISO 50001:2018 framework.

    Every organisation can receive long term tangible benefits in terms of cost savings, environmental performance, regulatory compliance, and engagement in the organisation.  This makes ISO 50001:2018 a valuable tool for organisations committed to sustainable energy management.

    Steps for implementing ISO 50001:2018

    Implementing ISO 50001:2018 involves ten key steps to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve an energy management system (EnMS) within an organisation.

    The following steps provide a roadmap for the successful implementation of ISO 50001:2018:

    1. Gain commitment from top management to support the implementation of ISO 50001:2018 and appoint a management representative responsible for overseeing the process.
    2. Develop an energy policy that reflects the organisation’s commitment to energy management and establish measurable objectives aligned with the policy.
    3. Conduct an initial energy review to assess current energy performance, identify significant energy uses, and establish baseline data for monitoring and improvement.
    4. Develop an action plan detailing specific measures to improve energy performance, including setting targets, allocating resources, and assigning responsibilities.
    5. Implement processes and procedures to monitor, measure, and manage energy performance, including training employees, implementing energy-saving technologies, and optimising operations.
    6. Monitor and measure energy consumption and performance indicators to track progress toward energy objectives and targets, identify deviations, and take corrective actions as needed.
    7. Conduct internal audits to assess the effectiveness of the EnMS, identify areas for improvement, and ensure compliance with ISO 50001:2018 requirements.
    8. Conduct periodic management reviews to evaluate energy performance, review the effectiveness of the EnMS, and identify opportunities for continual improvement.
    9. Address any non-conformities identified during audits or management reviews and take corrective actions to prevent recurrence.
    10. Continuously seek opportunities to improve energy performance, enhance the effectiveness of the EnMS, and achieve long-term sustainability goals.

    FAQs

    What are the main changes in ISO 50001:2018 compared to previous versions?

    The main changes in the latest version of ISO 50001:2018 compared to ISO 50001:2011 versions include:

    • Alignment with the High-Level Structure (HLS) for management system standards, making it easier to integrate with other management systems such as ISO 9001:2015 (quality management) and ISO/IEC 27001:2022 (information security management).
    • Greater emphasis on leadership involvement and commitment to energy management.
    • Integration of risk-based thinking to identify and address energy-related risks and opportunities.
    • Enhanced focus on data-driven decision-making and performance evaluation to drive continual improvement.
    • Simplification of language and terminology to improve clarity and usability.

    How does an organisation become ISO 50001:2018 certified?

    To become ISO 50001:2018 certified, an organisation will typically follow these steps:

    1. Familiarise yourself with the requirements of an EnMS by reviewing the standard and if you feel overwhelmed reach out to experts or consultants at WWISE to help you work through the process.
    2. Establish an energy management team responsible for developing and implementing the EnMS.
    3. Conduct an initial energy review to identify energy sources, consumption patterns, and areas for improvement.
    4. Develop and implement an energy policy, objectives, and action plans aligned with the requirements.
    5. Implement processes and procedures to monitor, measure, analyse, and evaluate energy performance.
    6. Conduct internal audits to assess the effectiveness of the EnMS and identify areas for improvement.
    7. Engage in management review meetings to review energy performance, identify opportunities for improvement, and allocate resources.
    8. Select WWISE as your certification body accredited for ISO 50001:2018 certification and undergo an external audit to assess your compliance with the standard.
    9. Address any non-conformities identified during the audit and demonstrate continuous improvement.
    10. Once all requirements are met, the certification body issues an ISO 50001:2018 certificate, demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to effective energy management.

    At WWISE, we’re able to assist you through the entire process, from establishing your energy management system to passing all your audits and EnMS maintenance.

    ISO 50001:2018 has helped various organisations not only commit to reducing their environmental footprint but also save costs, enhance their reputation, and regulatory compliance. Beyond the tangible benefits, ISO 50001:2018 also helps organisations foster a culture of continuous improvement, innovation, and stakeholder engagement. All of these benefits position organisations for long-term success in a rapidly evolving global economy.

    Take the first step towards implementing ISO 50001:2018 by contacting one of our consultants today at 086 109 9473 or sending us an email at admin@wwise.co.za. Our team of experts will be able to walk you through the process of creating, implementing and maintaining your organisation’s energy management system.

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