Implementing an energy management system (EnMS) such as ISO 50001 is a powerful way for an organization to continually improve its energy efficiency, making substantial cost savings while reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Yet it doesn’t have to be done all at once, and each action taken can bring positive changes in its own right. Which is why a new standard has just been published to help organizations – especially small businesses – reap the most benefits at every step.
ISO 50005, Energy management systems – Guidelines for a phased implementation, provides guidance for a step-by-step process to implement an energy management system. It is particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that may not have the resources to put in place an EnMS all in one go. By taking a staged approach, organizations can more easily allocate the appropriate resources and priority levels based on their needs and capacities, enabling them to benefit from the standard at the very first step.
Nathanael Harfst, joint leader of the group of experts that developed the standard, said there are many benefits from starting with a phased approach to something as weighty as an EnMS, including generating quick wins to motivate staff and being able to prioritize activities so that they build on or complement each other best.
“An energy management system is designed to establish the systems and processes required to improve energy performance, but, being a huge task, it can seem daunting and ultimately prohibitive, particularly to small businesses,” he said.
“Taking a phased approach enables organizations to start small and build progressively based on needs and resources, allowing them to reap benefits right from the outset.”
ISO 50005 outlines a phased implementation approach using 12 core elements of ISO 50001, Energy management systems – Requirements with guidance for use. The standard is based on a maturity model consisting of four levels, with Level 1 offering the basics for those with little energy management experience, building progressively towards a level that is consistent with conformity to ISO 50001.
ISO 50005 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 301, Energy management and energy savings, whose secretariat is held by ANSI, ISO’s member for the USA. It can be purchased from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.