A lot of energy managers say to me, “ISO 50001 is expanding fast but it’s new to me. I have to get ISO 50001 for my company. Where can I go to see an ISO 50001 implementation near to me in my industry sector?”
For example, an automotive component manufacturer might want to see ISO 50001 in another automotive company. The problem is that there are only a few hundred ISO 50001 certifications in the world so far. It is therefore unlikely that you will find an ISO 50001 certificate in your sector close to you.
Normally, I recommend the energy manager set aside the issue of industry sector and visit any local organization that has ISO 50001. Why do I recommend that?
Management Practices Are Common across All Sectors
In more than 30 years of energy management across industrial and building sectors in North America and Western Europe, I have found the same management issues determine whether or not you have good energy practices. It is the same whether you are a food company, a paper company or a metal manufacturing company. ISO 50001 focuses on ensuring good management practice on topics such as:
- Management commitment to energy efficiency
- Project prioritization
- Clear energy plans
- Motivation and training of staff
- Auditing of energy and management practices
- Clear processes and work practices
- Monitoring & targeting
- Employee suggestion schemes
Overcoming Technical Differences between Sectors
As you go from one industry sector to another, the key differences are on technical topics such as:
- Energy review
- Significant energy users (SEUs)
- Energy performance indicators (EnPIs)
A technical energy analysis in an automotive plant is very different from a paper processing operation. Good sector specific knowledge of energy balancing is required here. However, in your role as energy manager, you have already carried out energy efficiency projects. The good news is that you (or your energy consultant) already have the required technical knowledge which is immediately transferable to an ISO 50001 program.
For an experienced energy manager, the introduction of ISO 50001 probably requires about 20 percent effort in technical energy matters and about 80 percent in management system effort. It is therefore very valuable to visit any site that has ISO 50001 – even if they are not in your industry sector. You can learn from their experience of management systems and add that to your existing knowledge of the technical aspect of energy management. Food companies can learn from energy supply companies, paper companies can learn from automotive companies, and so on.