More and more businesses are starting to consider the impact they are having on the wider environment and the community they directly affect through their daily actions and activities. In a survey by the British Standards Institute there were some interesting responses from 800 public and private sector UK organisations with regards to energy management, showing that although there is an increasing amount of interest, there is still much to be done.
A huge 78% of all of the companies surveyed said that energy management is either important or very important to their senior management team, the key driver to this force was to reduce costs, although they most probably considered other aspects such as meeting legal requirements and their reputation alongside this driver. Interestingly, however, 65% of them have neither an energy management policy or conduct regular energy audits, showing a huge lack in this area.
Energy Management Systems can make a difference
If we are to make a substantial difference to adding to the sustainability of our world, it is the large organisations that need to work together with authorities to make a dent in the carbon emissions floating into the atmosphere every year, which is where an energy management system can greatly help.
Industry and climate change
One of the ways in which a company can ensure they have a comprehensive and thorough energy management in place is to consider the ISO 50001, a standard developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation. The ISO was requested to develop the international energy management standard by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. This followed the recognition that there needed to be an effective response to climate change by industry.
The ISO 50001 standard has been designed to work with other ISO standards to perfectly tie in with the systems businesses might already have in place, but has the specific function to concentrate on Energy Management and how companies can reduce the energy consumption and waste. Only released last year in 2011, it will take a little bit of time before the standard filters through major organisations, but following the success of other ISO 9001 standards it might not be too long until we see the ISO 50001 standard with the same popularity.
The energy management system required by the ISO 50001 includes a number of documents including a policy which will outline the base goals for energy management in the company, it will also have documented procedures which outline how the system is intended to perform. These procedures will be correctly delegated with the right resources for staff members to understand their responsibilities when it comes to energy management, if your policy isn’t clear to those who work for you it can be almost impossible to implement.
Finally, it is important to remember that the energy management system installed into your business by the ISO 50001 will not set your energy management goals for you, it simply gives you the process and techniques to be able to continually improve.
Rebecca Field is writing on behalf of QMS International, a company specialising in the field of ISO certifications, including the ISO 50001. After recently handing out their 20,000th ISO certification, they are leaders in their industry.