Spiralling energy costs and climate change spur major revision of international standard for energy performance
August 21, 2018
- Landmark international energy standard, ISO 50001, revised for the first time since 2011 to reflect current industry insight
- BSI’s Head of Sustainability warns of a ‘perfect storm’ of climate change and surging energy costs for organizations in all sectors
Organizations large and small are facing pressure to cut their energy use, with demands from governments, regulatory bodies, and consumers increasingly necessitating that every organization has in place an energy management policy.
BSI, the business standards company, has revised the original global standard for energy management systems, BS EN ISO 50001: 2018. Drawing on the knowledge and experience of energy management experts globally, the standard has been updated to provide step-by-step guidance on how an organization can reduce its energy costs, become more resilient, comply with legislation and grow more sustainably.
The standard outlines the energy management processes considered to be the current best practice globally and provides a shortlist of activities for establishing policies, processes, procedures and specific energy-tasks to meet an organization’s energy objectives. It requires an organization to define the desired energy performance, and work towards achieving the stated objective.
David Fatscher, Head of Sustainability at BSI, said: “Unpredictable weather patterns and ever-increasing energy costs have created a perfect storm for organizations. Businesses across a wide range of sectors regularly cite the monetary and environmental costs of addressing climate change as one of their number one concerns.
“ISO 50001 first published in 2011 to address in plain English the surmountable energy challenges of today and tomorrow – and to manage them in a systematic way. Technology, the regulatory environment and scientific knowledge have all changed markedly in the last seven years, and this update of the standard acknowledges that transformation.
“We know that the status quo is unsustainable, so guidance is given on how an organization can improve its financial performance, bolster its compliance, and how energy management can be integrated into every aspect of an organization.
“The bottom line is this: reducing energy costs is a win-win for organizations, who can achieve lower financial outgoings whilst minimizing their carbon footprint. ISO 50001 can assist organizations of all shapes and sizes in establishing a process for continual energy improvement.”
ISO 50001 increases an organization’s understanding of what types of energy they use, and crucially, how much they are wasting and the cost of that waste. The standard provides tools to reduce energy consumption, thus lowering costs and enabling an organization to become more competitive.
The guidance in the standard improves compliance with energy legislation, regulation and overall climate change mitigation goals; indeed, certification to ISO 50001 continues to be an approved compliance route to meeting the requirements of the UK Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).
Importantly, ISO 50001 does not dictate what an organization’s energy targets should be or how an organization’s energy performance improvement should be demonstrated; rather, it recognizes that every organization is different, with energy targets being an internal concern. ISO 50001 was created to support organizations in this goal rather than to impose.
The updated standard provides greater clarification on concepts related to energy performance and has a stronger emphasis on the responsibility of leadership in driving an energy management policy than the 2011 version of this standard, which the 2018 version supersedes. It also has improved compatibility with ISO 14001 and other management improvement standards, and an amended section on data collection and normalization.
More information on BS EN ISO 50001: 2018 Energy management systems – requirements with guidance can be found here:
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