Development of ISO 50001

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards, identified energy management as a priority due to the significant potential to save energy and reduce greenhouse (GHG) emissions worldwide.

Based on broad applicability across national economic sectors, the standard could influence up to 60 percent of the world's energy demand.1 Corporations, supply chain partnerships, utilities, energy service companies, and others can use ISO 50001 as a tool to reduce energy intensity and carbon emissions in their own facilities (as well as those belonging to their customers or suppliers) and to benchmark their achievements.

Developing the Standard
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was one of the earliest entities to recognize industry's need to mount an effective response to climate change and to the proliferation of national energy management standards. In March 2007, UNIDO hosted a meeting of experts, including representatives from the ISO Central Secretariat and nations that have adopted energy management standards. That meeting led to submission of a formal request to the ISO Central Secretariat to consider undertaking work on an international energy management standard.

In February 2008, the Technical Management Board of ISO approved the establishment of a new project committee (PC 242 – Energy Management) to develop the new ISO Management System Standard for Energy. Mr. Edwin Piñero serves as International Chair for this committee. The Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) jointly serve as the Secretariat. The U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing and the U.S. Department of Energy are supporting ANSI's role in developing the standard.

As part of the standard development process, the ISO/PC 242 committee will define relevant terms, provide management system requirements, and develop guidance for use, implementation, measurement, and metrics. To provide compatibility and integration opportunities, the standard fosters continual improvement and uses the Plan-Do-Check-Act approach employed in ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

1 U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2007, industrial and commercial world energy use