Introduced in June 2011, the purpose of ISO 50001:2011 (an Energy Management System – EnMS) is to help companies establish the systems and processes necessary to improve their overall energy performance. While there is some overlap with ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental Management Systems – EMS), ISO 50001:2011 focuses specifically on energy management and the technical factors that drive energy efficiency and environmental impact.
It was developed in response to increasing global awareness of energy consumption and offers organisations, particularly in the energy hungry print sector, a recognised framework for integrating energy performance into their management practices to reduce energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions and minimise other related environmental impacts.
ISO 50001:2011 standard was designed to deliver benefits to companies who implement it including:
- Making better use of existing energy consuming assets
- Improving visibility of energy usage
- Facilitating an organisation’s ability to communicate about energy performance, both internally and to its customers
- Promote energy management best practices and reinforce good energy management behaviours
- Assist in evaluating and prioritising the implementation of new energy efficient technologies
- Provide a framework for promoting energy efficiency throughout the supply chain
- Facilitate energy management improvements for greenhouse gas emission reduction projects
- Create transparency and facilitate communication on the management of energy resources
- Allow for more streamlined integration with other organisational management systems such as environmental, and health and safety.
An EnMS framework enables 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 concerning energy use and consumption, measure the results to review the effectiveness of the policy and continually improve energy management. The standard has been designed for implementation by any organisation, whatever its size or activities. Because ISO 50001 does not fix targets for improving energy performance it means that any organisation, regardless of its current mastery of energy management, can implement it to establish a baseline and improve on this at a rate which is appropriate to its context and capacities.
ISO 50001 provides customers, suppliers, employees and stakeholders with evidence of an organisation’s commitment to improved energy performance, as well as compliance with applicable laws and regulations. It can be integrated with other management systems, including those related to quality, environment and occupational health and safety.
It has been estimated the standard could have a positive impact on some 60 % of the world’s energy use. It will make positive contributions toward reducing depletion of energy resources and mitigating worldwide effects of energy use, including global warming.
The print industry was slow to adopt ISO 14000, let’s not make the same mistake with ISO 50000!