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.

The Sustainability Case for Business

Upon reading a number of recent sustainability articles; “2018 will be fourth hottest year on record…”,  “Humans are damaging the oceans in profound ways”, “Earth’s resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes”, I am left pondering what priority is this critically important issue being given at a time when – more than ever – the evidence is right before our eyes?


There is now more pressure on organisations, companies and individuals to act as ‘Sustainability Stewards’ for society and the environment. Especially with a UK government lost in the quagmire of Brexit, dealing a serious blow to real sustainability policy, legislation and leadership.

Over the past decade or so, I have witnessed some improvement in the nature of organisation and client conversations in this space; however, challenges on making the business case for sustainability do remain.

My hope is that energy efficiency practices, environmental standards and initiatives become default best practice in every organisation…  Don’t get me wrong, there are some very pro-active organisations leading the charge. However, wider adoption is needed to really embed the levels of sustainability required to reduce and mitigate the impact of climate change.

The built environment is rapidly expanding. It is critical that a genuine understanding of how these buildings perform and impact the environment throughout their lifecycle is developed and disseminated to all. Surely it makes sense to futureproof property assets, securing their long term value and sustainability? At the same time, these solutions will deliver on wider sustainability goals that protect the planet and our finite resources.

To help lead the charge, EVORA focuses on using accurate data to benchmark and track performance across various types of real estate. This forms the basis of an holistic approach to develop definitive end to end solutions for our clients to support their strategies, through feasible initiatives that enhances the operation of their assets and the wellbeing of their occupants .

I will finish on a positive note, there are signs of positive action where EVORA have helped clients: “Monitoring & Targeting delivers 30% energy savings”, “16% increase in recycling & zero waste to landfill”, “Ground breaking approach to BIM results in proposal to reduce CO2 emissions on all new developments by 20%”.

If we can continue this trajectory then we are certainly heading in the right direction. We just need to up the momentum and reframe the conversation to make the “sustainability case for business!”


To speak to a member of the team about how we can support you, please contact us.

Health and Wellbeing in Student Accommodation Investments

The demand for student accommodation continues to grow in the UK. In 2017/18, there were 602,000 purpose-built bed spaces available to students; 87% of these were delivered by the private sector[1].

Critically for investors, the value of transactions is greater than ever, in spite of fears that the market had peaked and concerns over the impact of Brexit. Despite this market buoyancy, clearly risks must be appropriately managed and investment decisions taken carefully. For us and many others, researching, analysing and integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is a critical element of such risk management. Investments involving student accommodation intersect with a broad range of ESG issues that may of themselves, or in combination, have potential to materially impact on overall profitability. One ESG focus is that of health and wellbeing, an area of growing importance to both active investors and student occupiers.

For us and many others, researching, analysing and integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is a critical element of such risk management.


When planning for student accommodation, consideration should be given to the connections between the built environment, both physically and mentally. For example, in terms of nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns and performance. Aspects include:

  1. Lighting: Ensuring availability of sufficient natural light and windows. Mood is significantly affected by access to natural light, and by the type of artificial light we are exposed to. Lighting has a big effect on alertness and concentration and traditional lighting can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm (associated with chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, and depression).
  2. Bed quality and comfort: Sleep and mental health have a bidirectional relationship; investing in mattresses that improve sleep quality can contribute to improved wellbeing.
  3. Curtains: Related to the above, ensuring that light pollution does not prevent sleep is important.
  4. Sound-proofing: Noise has been found to influence occupants’ mental health. Each asset must at least meet relevant regulatory standards (and preferabley surpass) to minimise the impact of noise.
  5. Temperature: Respondents to NUS’ Homes Fit for Study survey in 2014 described being mentally affected by the temperature in their accommodation. Whilst good provision of heating is important, issues such as pre-set thermostats could result in heat stress which itself has a negative impact on mental health. Heating can also affect occupants’ physical activity which in turn can impact on mental health. Reducing drafts can also help.
  6. Air quality and ventilation: Being damp free and simple improvements like plants to help with better air ventilation should be considered.
  7. Green space: Views and access to nature have been connected to better wellbeing.
  8. Safety and security: Implement 24/7 management strategies and promotion of safety precautions to students (refreshed for each new student intake). Consider early (i.e. during design).
  9. Physical Exercise: Consideration to provision of gym facilities, indoors or outdoors. Establishing relationships with local sports facilities to enable subsidised membership.
  10. Nutrition: High quality kitchen facilities with appropriate cleaning strategy in place. Healthy food options, preferably with pricing and/or other choice incentives. Students should also be able to easily access good quality drinking water.
  11. Accessibility: All residences should aim to be within feasible walking distance of suitable public transport or educational establishment. Adequate and well-maintained cycle storage facilities (secure, well-lit with overhead cover) should also be provided as standard.

Additionally, property managers need to cooperate with the university’s welfare services to maximise the support that can be provided for students to reach their optimum mental wellbeing. Mental health training should be provided for all student-facing staff, so they are equipped to follow the right protocols, respond adequately to distress, understand the boundaries of confidentiality, and consider the positive things they can do to create a supportive culture, including signposting students to further support and community care.

Student accommodation not only provides shelter, but should also offer a rich environment of inclusiveness, generosity of spirit, respect and excellence in which students are enabled to become the best people they can be.

Integrating with existing local communities and/or supporting creation of new communities within and around student accommodation is crucial, particularly as it helps first year students transition into their new lifestyles. Student accommodation not only provides shelter, but should also offer a rich environment of inclusiveness, generosity of spirit, respect and excellence in which students are enabled to become the best people they can be. Students deserve an excellent residential experience where they feel a sense of belonging and engagement to facilitate true academic success. Property managers should support social measures and pastoral care. Design and fit-out of accommodation can enhance community spirit, by providing comfort and high quality social space. An allocation system should be employed to allow new students to choose their room in the accommodation and provide a matching service to live with a preferential mix of others, that relates to gender, nationality and stage of study.

Attention to considerations such as these can reduce project risks, build social support and generate incremental value.

EVORA can provide comprehensive end-to-end sustainability consultancy support for investors in and operators of student accommodation, including:

  • Development of ESG policies and strategies;
  • Certification (e.g. WELL Standard and Fitwel); and,
  • Reporting (e.g. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports, Responsible Property Investment Statements and / or disclosure of sustainability performance within Annual Reports).

Contact us to speak to a member of the team.


[1]Cushman & Wakefield, UK Student Accommodation Report, 2018

IoT: How can it help address urban sustainability challenges?

A common trend occurring in countries across the world is the movement of people into cities. The knock-on effect of city growth is that their energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions rise exponentially in order to meet the needs of the inhabitants.

Current estimates state that cities consume over two thirds of the world’s energy and are responsible for similar levels of global greenhouse gases[1]. As cities are expected to continue growing in the future, it is important that urban sustainability issues and challenges are addressed in order to restrict the impact of climate change.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices which can connect and exchange data. Often, IoT forms the basis of new innovative approaches, which are presented as the solution to many urban sustainability challenges. According to the world economic forum[2], which analysed 640 IoT deployments, it found that 84% of these can in some way help address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting the global potential of IoT. For the purpose of this blog I have focused upon two key areas of interest to me, air quality and commercial buildings. In both of these areas the IoT has the potential to drive sustainability progress forward.


Air Quality

Air quality has received considerable attention in the media over the past year. In London, where we are based, the major source of pollution derives from transportation. It is important for environmental and health reasons that within cities we are able to monitor air quality effectively. However, a key challenge has always been the coverage.

Often air quality is measured by monitoring stations at set locations providing limited spatial representativeness, which is problematic in densely populated areas where significant variations can occur due to a wide range of emission sources. Advances in low power wide area (LPWA) networks (long range wireless communication) has enabled small and low-cost sensors to be developed, which can be attached to street furniture (think sign posts and street lights) within cities. Readings can be received in real time from these sensors providing air quality data with greater depth and scope than before. Using this information in models can support decision making processes and also help raise general awareness of the issue.

A practical example using IoT to improve air quality monitoring is the Air Map Korea Project[3], which involves sensors (with IoT capability) being placed on over 4.5 million telephone poles, 60,000 public phone booths and 4000 offices. The desired result is for the data to help government-led efforts to reduce air pollution. Another example, slightly closer to home is a mobile air quality monitoring project in Glasgow[4], where sensors are placed in vehicles to provide readings throughout the city. I am expecting more and more schemes like these two to start occurring in cities around the world.


Commercial Buildings

Cities contain a wide variety of commercial buildings, such as offices, hotels and shopping centres, which account for a considerable part of the overall energy demand. If cities are going to continue to grow as expected, it is vital that these buildings are able to reduce their energy demand and associated carbon emissions. Savings can often be achieved through improving the operational functions. Commercial buildings commonly have a set level of intelligence built in, with internal networks providing a tool for communication between equipment, for example as part of the Building Energy Management System (BEMS).

Approaches utilising the IoT are now offering greater system connectivity, providing building managers with more accurate data and better methods to regulate and control internal conditions, enabling building environments to be improved and efficiency savings achieved. An example of this connectivity would be a building where heating and cooling is adjusted automatically based on the occupancy and weather conditions or even lighting systems that adjust to our natural circadian rhythm.

At EVORA, we have been providing monitoring and targeting consultancy across a range of assets to help reduce consumption within buildings. Our SIERA software can be directly linked to a utility AMR stream providing us with consumption readings every 30 mins. Through reviewing the data monthly, we are able to optimise plant equipment timings and highlight unusual fluctuations, leading to financial and carbon savings (click here to see a case study where we delivered energy savings of 30%).

Having greater connectivity allows for services like this to exist, which improve the internal environment and assist in the way buildings are managed and operated, offering a viable solution for lowering energy demand from commercial buildings.

If you are interested in discussing this further or want to know how EVORA could help your organisation with sustainability initiatives,then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of the team.


[1]C40 Cities – https://www.c40.org/why_cities
[2]World Economic Forum – http://widgets.weforum.org/iot4d/
[3]Business Korea – http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=19374
[4]ScotlandIS – https://www.scotlandis.com/news/2017/september/with-iot-air-quality-in-glasgow-gets-smart/