What is ISO 50001?

The IPCC report 2021 warned that the world is set to reach the 1.5ºC level within the next two decades and said that only the most drastic cuts in carbon emissions from now would help prevent an environmental disaster. The energy consumed by companies’ sites and offices contributes to the release of carbon emissions. Thus, efficient energy management is a crucial piece of the puzzle in combatting climate change. Philips has an ambitious climate program¹ and the first Philips sites have been ISO 50001 certified with more to follow.

Furthermore, recently the financial cost of energy consumed is rising. This poses a business risk and opportunity. Companies that carefully manage and reduce their energy consumption are likely to save money and be more resilient to change.

ISO 50001 is the international standard for Energy management systems (EnMS). The standard was introduced in 2018 and provides a structural way of improving your company’s energy performance. ISO 50001:2018 is similar to other management systems because of its High Level Structure (HLS) that fits perfectly with your existing management systems. The scope of ISO 50001 is different from ISO 140001. Where ISO 14001 looks at resource use, waste management and pollution, ISO 50001 is interested in energy performance indicators in relation to basic level of energy that is essential for production/office work.

ISO 50001 provides guidelines for various organizations to manage and improve their energy performance in a systematic way. By meeting and implementing this standard, organizations can distinguish themselves from their (international) competitors, save energy and thus costs and contribute to greenhouse gas reduction.

¹ Philips announces ambitious climate action – News | Philips

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Joep Meijs | Environment, Health & Safety Consultant | Philips Engineering Solutions

Joep Meijs

Environment, Health & Safety Consultant

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Benefits of ISO 50001

In 2020 we helped Philips Netherlands in receiving an ISO 50001 certificate. During the project we learned in practice the multiple benefits of ISO 50001:

  • Assists with current and/or future regulatory compliance e.g., EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED);
  • Puts into practice a framework for energy efficiency;
  • Creates detailed insights in energy consumption and energy performance opportunities;
  • Provides a systematic approach for the planning and evaluation of energy efficient technologies, for example changing to LED-lighting, using rest warmth;
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Increases transparency and awareness across organizational levels.

ISO 50001 Energy management system | Graphic

Philips Engineering Solutions | ISO 50001 Energy management system benefits

We make ISO 50001 work for your organization

  • Set-up of an Energy management system in line with ISO 50001
  • Support your organization with a tailor-made manual
  • Structured improvement of energy efficiency
  • Define goals and results (KPI) of ISO 50001 EnMS system, including methods to monitor progress
  • Generate an internal and external context analysis and stakeholder analysis
  • (Pre) audit of your ISO 50001 management system
  • Upgrade present management system (for example EED) to ISO 50001

We support in individual steps

  • Gap analyses
  • Project management
  • Guidance on implementation
  • Audit preparation
  • Internal audits
  • Resolve actions after certification

Customer case: Energy coordinator Philips Best
Nico Mutsaers about ISO 50001

At the end of 2019 there was some uncertainty about what kind of governmental regulations would succeed the multi-year energy efficiency agreement (MJA3) covenant. At that time, it was unclear for entrepreneurial organization FME whether there would be a 4th MJA covenant. The uncertainty of a successor and possible regulatory pressure were reasons for Philips to explore other options. That’s where ISO 50001 Energy Efficiency management system was introduced.

“Together with Philips Real Estate, Philips Best was one of the forerunners that initiated the introduction of ISO 50001 Energy Efficiency management system. Due to the abolition of the MJA3 covenant, companies were to comply with the mandatory energy saving information duty and the European Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). The latter applies to the vast majority of companies.

The environmental permit of these companies includes specific regulations regarding energy saving measures. Under the EED, these companies have an audit obligation and a four-yearly extensive energy-saving study with a plan of action.

The approach is top down and there is limited space to navigate. Thereby cost analysis shows costs between the EED obligations, and the ISO 50001 are more or less the same.

ISO 50001 Energy management system | Customer case: Energy coordinator Philips Best

Added value of ISO 50001

The advantages of ISO 50001 have an organizational and financial nature. ISO 50001 ensures a uniform working method and has the capacity to promote cross-fertilization between knowledge holders. By standardization of processes ISO 50001 already provides efficiency. Thanks to a uniform process, we make fewer mistakes, for example a project leader who leads a renovation or a business that improves energy consumption. In contrast to the EED obligations, the ISO 50001 system is more non-binding. This space might be looked at as a disadvantage but should be regarded as an opportunity. Freedom offers the opportunity to make well-founded choices and flexible response to developments. A possibility that is much less present within the EED obligation. Regulatory pressure by the government is relieved by implementation of ISO 50001. The exemption from the four-yearly EED audit and the deadlines associated with the list of measures provide respite. The measures also need to be reported less strictly, because an official report is no longer required.

Improving efficiency

Efficiency is obtained by posing processes in a critical light in a structured way. An important contribution is made by drawing up a handbook. Role clarity within the organization by defining tasks, responsibilities and authorities is essential. Training your staff also helps in setting up your management system. The effectiveness hinges with the commitment within the organization for the Energy Management System (EnMS). While energy reduction used to be primarily the responsibility of specific departments such as Philips Real Estate and Environment Health & Safety, 50001 offers the (binding) option to enthuse business and production for additional savings. When this is widely supported, there is a great chance of double efficiency. There weren’t any obligations related to role divisions with the MJA3 and the EED, but this is the case with ISO 50001. As a result, cross-pollination takes place, and more departments (such as procurement) get involved in energy efficiency. The high-level structure of the EnMS is another efficiency. This structure enables management systems to be easily combined. At Philips Best we especially found the combination of ISO 55001 (asset management) and ISO 50001 to be of great added value.

Future benefits

Energy is vital for any organization existence. The availability of energy and thus the price is highly subjected to social developments, such as geopolitical relationships and climate change. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to improving the energy cost structure in the (near) future. Cost stability is achieved through energy consumption and consumption that is as predictable as possible. This can be done by small steps, such as replacing fluorescent lighting with LED.

In the longer term, a gain can be foreseen by working more uniformly and by defining energy developments, new opportunities can be made clear. The strategic upgrading of buildings can be an example of this. This allows future price increases to be discounted.”

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Joep Meijs | Environment, Health & Safety Consultant | Philips Engineering Solutions

Joep Meijs

Environment, Health & Safety Consultant

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