ISO 50001-2018 to contain key concepts for SMEs

Anthony Capkun
November 27, 2017
November 27, 2017 - ISO 50001 “Energy management” is being updated; a new draft was approved this month, and the next edition of ISO 50001 is being published in 2018.

“Perhaps the most important change for the 2018 version is the incorporation of the high-level structure [HLS], which provides for improved compatibility with other management system standards,” explains Deann Desai, professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and convenor of the working group tasked with revising the standard.

“Because organizations often implement a number of management system standards, the use of a shared structure—as well as many of the same terms and definitions—helps to keep things simple,” added Desai.

This is useful for those organizations that choose to operate a single (a.k.a. “integrated”) management system that can meet the requirements of two or more management system standards simultaneously.

“There are other improvements in the 2018 version to help ensure that the key concepts related to energy performance are clear for small- and mid-sized businesses [SMEs],” continued Desai.

According to ISO, some SMEs mistakenly assume international standards apply to multinational businesses. That’s not the case, says ISO, as SMEs around the world are using ISO standards to “build customer confidence and reduce costs across all aspects of their business, including meeting regulation requirements”.

With energy efficiency playing such a key role in meeting social and environmental targets for all sizes of business, promoting the uptake of ISO 50001 is also an important part of Desai’s work. She points to a number of initiatives that have helped increase the use of ISO 50001 around the world, including the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

— With files from ISO

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