Energy has a double cost: a financial cost and an environmental cost. While the energy production is increasingly coming from sustainable sources such as solar or wind installations, another important aspect of energy management is the optimization and the reduction of energy waste.
Implementing an Energy Management System helps companies to reduce their energy bill and to make a gesture for the planet. One of the most popular standard to achieve this is the ISO 50001 certification.
We will today learn more about Energy Management and how the ISO 50001 can help you achieve your energy policy.
What is an Energy Management System (EMS)?
Energy management defines the process of controlling the energy and resources consumed in order to protect the climate and save on operational costs while keeping a permanent energy access. Setting up an EMS implies the definition of an energy policy, targets and processes to reach them. To do so, several standard strategies and systems have been developed over the years to help companies with their energy management.
There are multiple benefits to using an EMS. Along with a substantial reduction of energy waste positively impacting the climate, it is also a source of immediate and long-term savings on energy costs. Analyzing the energy consumption helps companies to spot energy inefficient processes and is also the opportunity to switch to renewable energy. Finally, using an EMS is also a powerful selling point for new customers concerned by the environment and environmental impact of the product they are purchasing.
Before starting with an EMS, every strategy requires completion of an energy assessment. This estimation helps to determine the current energy consumption and costs, but will later serve as a reference to evaluate the progress made after the implementation of an EMS such as the ISO 50001.
What is the ISO 50001
The ISO 50001 was first released in June 2011 by the International Organization for Standardization. In 2015, around 12.000 companies around the world were ISO 50001 certified.
The goal of this certification is to provide to companies of all sizes, industries, and countries a global framework to develop their energy management system. As many other ISO standards, the ISO 50001 follows the PDCA Cycle (“Plan-Do-Check-Act” - see figure below) in order to provide a continuous improvement in energy management. It can be completed with the ISO 14001 certification focusing on the quality of the environmental impacts of the organization.
The ISO 50001 certification
The ISO 50001 follows the structure below:
- General Requirements
- Management Responsibility
- Energy Policy
- Energy Action Plan
- Implementation and Operation
- Performance Audits
- Management review
As many other ISO certifications, the ISO 50001 is more a framework than a certification itself. Therefore, it is possible to get ISO 50001 through an independent certification body but it is not required. Nevertheless, certification is recommended in order to continually improve the implementation of the EMS and to easily prove to stakeholders, employees, management, and customers your company responsibility for the environment.
The certification process itself is similar to the ISO 14001 process: a certification is issued after a successful two-stages audit operated by an accredited certification body. The certification is valid three years and renewable after a new certification process.
Would you like to get your energy management right with the ISO 50001 and need to document your assessment and process? You regularly exchange documents with your suppliers and need a platform to administer your documentation? Discover now ecratum and its different SRM modules and learn more about efficient document management with an online demonstration.