ISO 50001 highlighted as key tool for climate action



 

With energy one of the most critical challenges facing the international community, the revision of ISO 50001 on energy management systems was given a major boost at the recently concluded Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8), a high-level global forum working to advance clean energy globally.

Energy ministers and decision makers, together with technical experts and private-sector leaders, gathered in Beijing, China, for the CEM8 to discuss how to scale renewables, improve efficiency and cooperate on clean energy initiatives. A series of side events, forums and workshops were organised, including an International Workshop on Improving Green Consumption featuring the benefits of ISO 50001.

Developers responsible for ISO 50001 also met in Beijing at the annual meeting of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 301, Energy management and energy savings. One of the main outcomes of the plenary was the revision of ISO 50001, which after six years of existence is being updated to ensure it remains a useful tool for all types of businesses and organisations around the world.

Sufficient progress and consensus were achieved to enable the revision of ISO 50001 to move to a Draft International Standard, which is expected to be completed and released within three months. Publication of the new edition of ISO 50001 as an International Standard is currently planned for November/December 2018.

Deann Desai, convenor of the working group revising the energy standard, said that one of the main changes for the 2018 version is in the incorporation of the High-Level Structure which provides for improved compatibility with other management systems standards. There are other improvements in the 2018 version to help ensure that the key concepts related to energy performance are clear for small and mid-size businesses.

Published in 2011, ISO 50001 transforms the way organisations manage their energy, offering companies a comprehensive approach to continually improve energy performance, sustainability and their bottom line. It has value both as a best-practice model and as a global benchmark for climate and clean energy action. Nearly 12 000 organisations were already certified to the standard at the end of 2015 – up 77% from the previous year.

CEM analysis shows that implementation of the ISO 50001 standard across the commercial and industrial sectors globally could drive cumulative energy savings of about 62 exajoules by 2030, sparing nearly USD $600-billion in energy costs and avoiding 6,5-million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. The projected annual emissions savings are equivalent to removing 215-million passenger vehicles from the road.

Roland Risser, chair of ISO/TC 301, Energy management and energy savings, explained that ISO 50001 provides a scalable, cost-effective and continuous energy management pathway for organisations that might not have otherwise performed these improvements, and allows organisations to demonstrate and verify to international parties and partners that they are committed to continuously improve their energy performance.

Contact Katie Bird, ISO, Tel 022 749-0431, bird@iso.org

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