New Standard: ISO 50001-The Energy Management System (EnMS)

We hope you got to enjoy a summer vacation and the Labor Day holiday!  Many of us were trying to take some time off with friends and family as well.  As we enter the last quarter of 2011, we are eagerly anticipating several clients certifying to ISO 14001, the environmental standard.  Since environmental performance and corporate sustainability have advanced as supply chain requirements, we are working diligently to help clients address these organizational goals.  If you missed our series on ISO 14001 and Corporate Sustainability, please click on ISO 14001 under the Categories section of the support desk to access all of our articles.

ISO, the International Organization for Standardization has developed over 18,500 International Standards on a variety of subjects and some 1100 new ISO standards are published every year.  In addition to standards they also publish guidelines.  At the ISO.org website, they indicate that their current “best selling standards” are: ISO 14001 (the Environmental Management System), ISO 26000 (guidance on Social Responsibility) and ISO 31000 (guidelines and principles on Risk Management).

Each time a new standard is published, there are always questions as to whether or not it may apply to your business or if your current QMS already addresses the new subject matter.  This is certainly the case with a new standard released by ISO on June 17th: ISO 50001: the Energy Management Standard (EnMS).

ISO published this statement on its website when the standard was in formation“ISO has identified energy management as a priority area meriting the development and promotion of International Standards.  Effective energy management is a priority focus because of the significant potential to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide.  Existing ISO standards for quality management practices (ISO 9000 series) and environmental management systems (ISO 14000 series) have successfully stimulated substantial, continuous efficiency improvements within organizations around the globe.  An energy management standard is expected to similarly achieve major, long-term increases in energy efficiency.”

The result is ISO 50001, the new Energy Management Standard (EnMS).  Here is how ISO frames the standard on its website:  “With energy one of the most critical challenges facing the international community, the publication on 15 June of the ISO International Standard ISO 50001 on energy management systems is an eagerly awaited event because it is estimated the standard could have a positive impact on some 60 % of the world’s energy use.  ISO 50001 will provide public and private sector organizations with management strategies to increase energy efficiency, reduce costs and improve energy performance…”

The release of this new standard has prompted questions from some of our clients, concerned if their current (or impending) ISO 14001 certification is enough to address these specific aspects of environmental impact.  Next week, we are going to provide insight on the new standard as it pertains to our client base.  We believe that many of our clients can address energy performance within the scope of their ISO 14001 management system.  You can access a recent news release on the new standard in The Environmental Leader and you can obtain information about ISO 50001 at ISO.org.

Next week, we will conclude with interpreting context from ISO directly, including the intent of the new standard and how it integrates and differentiates from both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.  This information should help put some key details in perspective.  We will also provide you with a very in-depth article and interview with Edwin Pinero, the ISO 50001 Independent Chair, published by LRQA, a UK based ISO registrar.  If you require further information please contact info@bizphyx.com.