ISO 50001 2018 revision

Earlier this week, the International Standard for Energy Management Systems (EnMS), ISO 50001 was given its official reboot through the launch of the 2018 revision; updating the 2011 issue. Organisations with existing ISO 50001 certifications have up to three years to transfer to the new standard. Whereas, businesses seeking energy management accreditation for the first time can progress directly with the 2018 version.

The ISO 50001 standard is an internationally recognised framework for the supply, use and consumption of energy in all types of organisations. As well as the direct benefits of saving energy, if you have an ISO 50001 energy management system that’s certified by an approved certification body and covers all your energy use, this can count as your company’s compliance route to Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme- ESOS – in the UK) .

The revision follows similar recent updates to other standards including ISO 9001:2015, and ISO 14001:2015, to include common terms, definitions and structures to provide a high level of compatibility across the ISO suite of standards.

The main changes in the 2018 revision include:

  • Adoption of “high level structure” and common terminology already reworked into ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015
  • Stronger focus of the role of top management and leadership engagement
  • More clarity on definitions, including “energy performance improvement”
  • Greater emphasis on risk-based approaches to improving energy performance
  • Clarification on exclusions of energy types
  • Clarification of energy performance indicator (EnPI) and energy baseline (EnB) text to provide a better understanding of these concepts.

The focus on continuous improvement remains active in the revised standard. Driving continual improvement is what EVORA specialises in and we can assist you in implementing and/or transitioning your energy management approach to the new ISO 50001 framework.

With our Plan, Do, Act approach, we can help you develop a tailored EnMS aligned to your business needs which takes account of practical measures in reducing your energy consumption. Contact our experts if you’d like to find out more.

12 months to transition to ISO 14001:2015 – A Systems Approach

Last week, our Director, Paul Sutcliffe, blogged on the transition to ISO14001:2015. Paul’s blog highlighted the main changes and opportunities associated with the new standard.

As a follow-up, I provide below, a deeper delve into the new standard requirements. It’s now just a year to go until the transitional deadline on 15th September 2018, at which point certificates for the 2004 standard will no longer be valid. Is it time to hit the panic button? Certainly not, but now’s the time to take action, especially since the deadline for many will likely be much sooner.

Is it time to hit the panic button? Certainly not, but now’s the time to take action, especially since the deadline for many will likely be much sooner.Click To Tweet

Prioritisation is crucial – focus on integration

At this stage, prioritisation is crucial. Focus first on any changes to existing organisational processes; get this ball rolling from the outset. The key to be able to best demonstrate many of the new requirements is integration. In my experience, as both a consultant and an external lead auditor, integration of environmental management controls with existing business practices always proves to be the biggest hurdle but once achieved, the full benefits of the environmental management system (EMS) are realised.

As such, section 5.0 of the new standard – Leadership – is where initial efforts should be focused, particularly as this may involve changes to company processes which can often take time to embed. A conversation needs to be had with senior management to emphasise that they are not necessarily expected to do more, but they are expected to know more. This is best achieved through the incorporation of EMS requirements into existing business processes. For example, the introduction of environmental performance progress updates into management meeting agendas. Complying with the other requirements (known as clauses in the standard) will be made significantly easier with this approach. Clauses such as 7.0 Support, 9.0 Performance Evaluation and 10.0 Improvement heavily rely on management and so it’s important these areas are targeted in the first instance.

Focus first on any changes to existing organisational processes; get this ball rolling from the outsetClick To Tweet

Prevent scope confusion – concentrate on context

Next, concentrate on the clauses where there is less of an impact on embedded company procedures, such as 4.0 Context. This clause does certainly require some thought and its importance is often overlooked. If applied correctly, it ensures continuity, clear boundaries and a sense of direction, preventing scope confusion and making everyone’s life, especially the auditor’s, much easier. Providing the previously discussed clauses have been addressed appropriately, the final two clauses left to mention, 8.0 Operation and 6.0 Planning, should be relatively straightforward to comply with. Of course, the industry type certainly makes a difference to the level of work required, particularly with the new ‘life cycle’ requirement under Operation. The ‘life cycle perspective’ sounds a lot more resource intensive than it needs to be, especially for office based companies. Remember, auditors are still finding their feet with the new requirements and will often be satisfied with evidence that this has at least been thought about, seismic changes to the company’s procurement policies are not going to be expected!

If applied correctly, it ensures continuity, clear boundaries and a sense of direction, preventing scope confusionClick To Tweet

Practical solutions for tight deadlines

This blog is designed to provide more information on transition planning. EVORA are well versed and experienced in the transitioning process, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Of course, it should also be mentioned that certification is not always necessary and many of our clients operate environmental management systems aligned (but not certified) to ISO 14001.  Regardless of certification status, the new ISO 14001 standard is a tool that if implemented correctly, provides a robust and effective framework that operates throughout the business, not alongside it. As a result, those with aligned systems should also consider changes introduced by the new standard, that will help deliver benefits.

Regardless of certification status, the new ISO 14001 standard is a tool that if implemented correctly, provides a robust and effective frameworkClick To Tweet

For more information on updating your EMS to ISO 14001:2015, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Recapping The Energy Institute’s ‘Energy Management-Meeting the Standard’ Conference

Attending conferences can sometimes be a hit and miss affair in this industry. After frequenting a few of these events, both in my current role as a sustainability consultant and in my previous career as an environmental manager in the construction sector, I am all too wary of how easily these events can turn into a series of sales pitches provided by various companies presenting.

I needn’t have worried, the conference, run by the Energy Institute, involved a series of half hour talks from various sectors on a wide variety of energy related topics, all of which were 100% relevant to EVORA and more importantly, our clients.

The talks provided valuable snapshots of the great work being undertaken under the umbrella of energy efficiency and also provided some solid information on the impacts of regulations and policies.

Here is a summary of key points.


Article 8 Across Europe

Dr Martin Krusker of Siemens was asked, “who has implemented the requirements of Article 8 the best across Europe?”

Answer, the UK. The opinion of ESOS across the UK varies widely (some organisations considered it a pure legal compliance requirement whilst others saw a real opportunity to drive improvement) and, as a result, I was not expecting this response. From my experience, I felt that many of the smaller organisations just captured by the scheme found it a burden. There is also the issue, the white elephant in the room, that nobody has to action anything identified within ESOS audits….

The Environment Agency were consistently vocal in their opinion that thousands of businesses were going to be non-compliant – even though, as far as I’m aware there have been no penalties served, as yet, on these businesses.

However, it seems that in comparison to the remainder of Europe the UK did a stand-out job. Nevertheless, it is clear we should not rest on our achievements, there is plenty to improve upon during the next compliance phase.


Progression with ISO50001

The ISO50001 Standard is to undergo review to align with the high level structure of other recently revised standards (ISO14001:2015 and ISO9001:2015). The expectation is that this will be issued in January 2019 with a three-year implementation period.  If you want to get involved in the process of re-drafting the ISO50001 Standard, keep your eyes peeled for further updates on the EVORA website.

In Germany there is a tax incentive scheme for businesses which introduce ISO50001. Take-up of ISO50001 in Germany is therefore much higher than the rest of the world, Germany on its own accounts for more than 50% of all ISO50001 certifications. With Germany already being ahead of the UK in terms of renewable energy and pro-active energy policies it is yet another example of innovative policy making that results in German companies taking more responsibility in managing their energy consumption. I hope someday that the UK government will take as positive a stance as their German counterparts.


Energy Markets and Private Wire Systems

Talking about energy market costs culminated in a discussion on the potential of private wire systems to negate the continual rise of energy cost ‘add-ons’.

Historically, energy costs were made up of 60% the actual cost of a unit of energy with 40% added on for extras such as availability charges, demand charges, feed in tariff, climate change levy, distribution costs and so on. However, we are now moving to a point where this proportion is reversed, with 60% of energy costs being from ‘add-ons’, therefore the fluctuation in the actual cost of energy is making up less than half of the total cost of energy.

A private wire system removes these ‘add-ons’. Although only generally applicable to large demand energy users located in feasible areas, the opportunity to tap into local renewable energy projects in order to save costs and use a renewable supply is becoming an attractive option to some. This could become a viable option for some businesses if the proportion of ‘add-ons’ in energy costs continue to grow towards an unsustainable level.


Thoughts for the Future

These were just three of many talking points of the day. Although the next ESOS compliance deadline may seem like a distant worry, this event served as a reminder of the importance in determining how you can get the best out of a proactive energy management strategy (and value for money!)

However, as sustainability professionals we must lead by example and the venue was a timely reminder that there really is a long way to go before sustainability is naturally embedded. The conference room included multiple large halogen lights giving off vast amounts of heat combatted by huge industrial fans for cooling leading to a stuffy energy intensive bubble. A considerable faux pas for an energy management conference! Additionally, the travel information provided prior to the event listed detailed car directions, car parking facilities and airport links (with details of taxi journey lengths) before even mentioning train or bus options. Without joined up thinking and understanding, sustainability will never become the norm.

The event lasted for a day, but the topics discussed will be key themes in the sustainability arena for years to come.

For information on the services EVORA can provide please do not hesitate to get in touch today.

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