ISO 50001 - Energy Management System

The rising cost of energy is a glaring expense on every organization's financials. Our world uses more energy today than ever before, and the demand is only projected to rise. Between 2007 and 2035, world consumption of energy is projected to increase 49%. One cause of this is our booming population, which is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Another cause is the amount of energy used in factories, hotels, airports, and other commercial buildings. In order to maintain reasonable energy consumption patterns for our children, our world needs to control how we use energy and manage the process for continually improving our energy efficiency.

To this end, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) created ISO 50001. ISO 50001 is an international energy management standard can help organizations understand their energy systems and improve their energy intensity and efficiency. In pilot programs across the nation, organizations have shown significant energy savings when adhering to the ISO 50001 standard. In Texas, one plant realized 14.9% in energy savings over a 24 month period. How could savings such as those impact your bottom line?

What is ISO 50001?

ISO 50001 is an energy management system standard meant to help organizations improve how they use energy. The standard promotes energy efficiency through measures and controls meant to help you reach your energy goals. ISO 50001 does NOT set energy goals, it is up to the organization to decide what they wish to achieve.

ISO 50001 is based - like most management standards - on the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) model. The PDCA model facilitates continual improvement, a guiding tenet of successful ISO standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. The principles of continual improvement help your organization get better with time, which gives organizations the potential for more savings as time goes on.

In addition to cost savings, ISO 50001 is intended to accomplish the following:

  • Assist organizations in making better use of their existing energy-consuming assets
  • Offer guidance on benchmarking, measuring, documenting, and reporting energy intensity improvements and their projected reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Create transparency and facilitate communication on the management of energy resources
  • Promote energy management best practices and reinforce good energy management behaviors
  • Assist facilities in evaluating and prioritizing 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
  • Allow integration with other organization management systems such as environment and health & safety