The standard aims to help organizations establish the systems and processes to improve their energy performance, including efficiency and consumption. The ISO says the standard is applicable to all types and sizes of organizations.
ISO 50001 is designed to help companies make better use of their energy-consuming assets, evaluate and prioritize the implementation of energy-efficient technology, and promote efficiency throughout the supply chain. It is designed to integrate with other management standards, especially ISO 14001 on environmental management and ISO 9001 on quality management.
The new standard specifies requirements for measurement, documentation and reporting, and for equipment design and procurement processes. It does not prescribe specific performance criteria, though it does require participating companies to commit to continual energy performance improvements.
It originated out of a request for an international energy management standard from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). In 2008 ISO created a project committee, ISO/PC 242, Energy management, to develop the standard.
ISO 50001 stresses the involvement of executive leadership, saying that top management must establish, implement and maintain an energy policy. They must identify the scope of the system, communicate its importance, ensure that appropriate targets and performance indicators are established and ensure that results are measured.
“Successful implementation depends on commitment from all levels and functions of the organization, and especially from top management,” the standard says.
Top management must also appoint a management representative, who will ensure that the system adheres to ISO 50001, determine methods to ensure that operation and control of the system are effective, and report to top management on energy performance and the effectiveness of the system.
Organizations must also conduct and document an energy planning process and develop, record and maintain an energy review.
The standard can be ordered from ISO here.
A brochure giving an overview of the standard is available here.