ISO 50001 revised to reflect changing energy landscape

The ISO 50001 energy management standard has been revised for the first time since it was published to account for trends such as rising energy costs and climate change.

The Standard, developed by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) and represented in the UK by the British Standards Institution (BSI), provides step-by-step guidance on how businesses can reduce energy costs, become more resilient, comply with legislation and grow more sustainably.

The new version, published on Tuesday (21 August), features updated terms and definitions and greater clarification of certain energy performance concepts. It also places a stronger emphasis on the role of top management – an approach which the Government has sought to implement through the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

BSI’s head of sustainability David Fatscher said the update addresses the “marked” changes to have occurred in regards to technology, scientific knowledge and the regulatory environment over the past seven years.

“Businesses across a wide range of sectors now regularly cite the monetary and environmental costs of addressing climate change as one of their number one concerns,” Fatscher said.  

“Unpredictable weather patterns and ever-increasing energy costs have created a perfect storm for organisations. The bottom line is this: reducing energy costs is a win-win for organisations, which can achieve lower financial outgoings whilst minimising their carbon footprint.”

Continual improvement

The updated 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 organisation-specific energy targets.

It aims to increase an organisation’s understanding of what types of energy it uses, and crucially, how much it is wasting and the cost of that waste.

ISO’s technical committee chairman Roland Risser said the update has made the Standard – issued to more than 20,000 organisations to date – easier to integrate into existing energy management systems. This is because it has now been brought in line with the revised versions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

ISO 50001 is based on the same management system model of ‘continual improvement’ used for ISO 9001 and 14001 to ensure it is delivering positive change for an organisation.

PDF copies of the revised certification requirements can be purchased directly from ISO, or from the BSI in the UK. 

To find out more about the ISO 50001 standard, you can download our edie Explains report by clicking here.

Sarah George

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