Increasing competition encourages companies to seek greater efficiency by reducing operating costs. It is estimated that, in some electricity-intensive industries, energy costs can account for more than 30% of the final cost of production. The constant increase in the prices of oil, electricity, gas, and other energy sources has a major impact on the economy of the industrial sector. However, at the same time, it is a great opportunity for improvement.
Organizations ranging from hospitals, factories, buildings to soccer stadiums are putting more effort into Energy efficiency and specifically energy management systems.
In this article, we will focus on a systematic approach for the implementation of internationally recognized best practices in the pursuit of continual energy performance improvement, ISO 50001, and how to implement it in your business.
As discussed in our previous blog post, ISO 50001 is a standard that provides requirements and guides organizations looking to establish, implement, maintain and refine energy management systems (a formal, comprehensive approach to drive energy performance improvement. It makes use of policies, procedures, and established rules and conventions to guide and direct the entire organization.)
The standard is based on the best practices throughout the world, essential for making businesses sustainable.
It was published in 2011 and is becoming increasingly popular and is designed to help organizations carefully manage energy consumption in their processes, identify opportunities for improvement, and avoid wasting resources.
As the best vehicle to drive continual improvement in energy performance and achieve long-term results, ISO 50001 should involve all levels of a business. This includes environmental experts, experts on key business processes, and other leaders.
The Standard addresses the following:
- Energy use and consumption
- Measurement, documentation, and reporting of energy use and consumption
- Design and procurement practices for energy-using equipment, systems, and processes
- Development of an energy management plan and other factors affecting energy performance that can be monitored and influenced by the organization”
Down below are the basic principles of the ISO 50001 structure according to PDCA*:
- Define the goals and targets the organization wants to achieve.
- Establish action plans to work on opportunities for improvement.
- Establish performance indicators to track energy consumption.
- Delegate tasks to team members who are qualified to implement them.
- Implement the action plans defined in the planning stage.
- Monitor processes and measure energy use.
- Check the results against goals and targets.
- Communicate the results to stakeholders.
- Once the goals have been achieved, set new goals for continuous improvement.
- If the goals were not achieved, determine the reasons, and take measures to correct the problems.
In effect, ISO 50001 establishes an organized logical approach traceable to high-level goals and objectives that supports businesses in achieving efficiency.