The leading objectives of the global climate change agenda are to reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency. This explains the the latest updates to the ISO 50001, which denotes the International Standard for improving energy performance.

In reality there has been increased energy consumption despite its contribution to about 60% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Also, over a billion people are yet to have access to electricity, while a sizeable number of individuals still rely heavily on harmful and polluting energy sources. So it isn’t surprising that a key part of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda focuses on addressing issues of energy efficiency and climate change challenges.

Upon its publication in 2011, the ISO 50001, Energy management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, was able to transform the energy performance of organizations worldwide by providing them the strategic tool through which they can use energy more efficiently and effectively.

The ISO 50001 flagship helps provide a framework that allows for effective energy performance management as well as addresses the energy costs. This encourages many more companies to work toward meeting emissions reduction targets by reducing their negative environmental impacts.

According to Roland Risser, the Chair of the ISO technical committee that developed the standard, the ISO 50001 has just been updated so it can become more effective at tackling the world’s energy challenges. This newly updated version of ISO 50001 provides improved terms and definitions that offer better clarification of some energy performance concepts.

He says, “There is a stronger emphasis on the role of top management as well, as it is important to instilling an organizational culture change.” He then explained further that “It is also now aligned with ISO’s requirements for management system standards, making it easier to integrate into an organization’s existing management systems.”

Since its release seven years ago, the ISO 50001 has become increasingly important in energy performance management. According to the ISO Survey, a total of 20,216 ISO 50001 certificates have been issued as of 2016. The survey reveals that the number of certifications issued increased by 69 % during 2016.

The ISO 50001:2018 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 301, Energy management and energy savings. The secretariat is under the joint control of ANSI, the ISO’s member for the USA, and SAC, the ISO’s member for China.