ISO 50001 celebrates its sixth birthday this year and appears to be heading for an upgrade. On January 24th this year initial discussions began on the revision of the energy management standard.
ISO 50001 provides organisations with guidelines for implementing and improving their energy management system. This is the globally recognised standard used by organisation across multiple industries with the ultimate goal being to reduce their energy consumption and costs.
The standard is widely accepted across Europe as the preferred option to meet EU energy targets which require achieving a 20% reduction in energy usage by the 2020 deadline. This target is expected to grow to 30% by 2030 and become a part of EU legislation.
With this is mind ISO 50001 is now due a revamp to reflect the changing times. In recent months energy experts from 30 countries have come together to begin revision of the text under the guidance of ISO and its technical committee 301, which was located in France through the AFNOR standardisation commission on energy management. "CD 2 (committee draft no. 2) elicited 900 comments and CD 3 will be released between February and April 2017" according to Sylvie Fernandez, the Project Manager at AFNOR standardisation. Since the meeting was held in between ISO/TC 301 sessions, France offered to play host to the international experts during that particular week.
This revision is not a surprise to anyone; it is expected every 5 years an ISO standard will require revisions. As far as ISO 50001 is concerned, several new features are being discussed. The first change being discussed involves modelling the energy management standard on the High-Level Structure (HLS).
HLS refers to the format of the clauses, sub-clauses and key concepts that the standard will need to replicate. This structure shares similarities with the already updated ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management) and ISO 14001: 2015 (Environment) standards. The benefit of adapting the standard to HLS will allow there to be a common language across the standards which would benefit all organisations using a standard and organisations implementing additional standards. It will become easier to have an integrated management system for quality, environment and energy, which we know would be a key component of an organisation’s strategy to be more cost efficient.
That is not the only idea being considered. There is talk that there should be more focus on the continual improvement of energy performance. This concept already exists in the current standard, but this would increase emphasis by requiring organisations to demonstrate continual improvement. The key benefit of this would be that it will give greater accuracy measuring and demonstrating the effectiveness of the ISO 50001 Energy Management standard. No set deadline has been set and odds are it will be 2019 at the earliest before this will become active.