Recently I attended an ISO 50001 Energy Management System Training offered by Bureau Veritas. ISO 50001 is an International Organization for Standardization Certification standard that enables organizations improve their energy performance. The class was really interesting. We got a trainer from India. Before we started the classes, we thought it’s going to be a math class but alas! It was more like a law class. The classes ran for 5 days. They were very intensive and highly practical.
In my country, Kenya, we have developed an energy management regulations that strongly borrows for the ISO 50001 framework. Though so far there is no company (at least according to Bureau Veritas Kenya) that has implemented the ISO 50001 Standard. Rumor has it that Bidco Oil wants to be the first on this certification in Kenya. It’s not that ISO 50001 is not popular, it’s just that it’s not popular in Africa. Statistics show that by October 2013, there were about 4,048 sites with the ISO certification all over the world. About 3,500 of them were from the EU states. Germany alone had about 2,300 sites! No wonder they are the best in Energy Efficiency in the world.
Personally, I think this ISO 50001 standard is excellent. It provides companies with an essential framework for managing energy. It focuses on continual improvement in energy efficiency and energy savings. Let us look at some 5 benefits of implementing this standard;
1. Reduction of energy cost – ISO 50001 ensures your company saves energy and reduces energy costs. Right from the energy policy, targets are set that the top management must support. The PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) approach to energy management enables your company to achieve the right and desired results.
2. Compliance with regulation – As noted earlier, my country’s energy regulation strongly borrows from the ISO standard. Therefore if you implement ISO 50001, you automatically are complying with the Kenya’s energy regulation. This also applies to other countries where reduction of greenhouse gases and carbon footprints are regulations.
3. Image Cultivation – Image is everything in the corporate world. So you want your company to be known for reducing the environmental impact? Acquire ISO 50001 certification. Having this standard builds on corporate image and shows that a company is keen on looking green.
4. Achievement of tax benefits – There are tax rebates just for having ISO 50001. This is not yet in Kenya but in Germany, some companies enjoy up to 90% reduction of energy taxes once registered for ISO 50001 certification. France, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden also have different tax rebates associate with companies that have acquired ISO 50001 certification.
5. Transparent and Sustainable Processes – ISO 50001 implementation ensures that companies develop sustainable processes that are easily monitored on their energy consumption. This standard ensures continual improvement of energy performance.
The main driver for companies going for this ISO 50001 certification has been the need to get access to incentive mechanism like tax rebates. Other key reasons have been reducing energy costs, improving profitability and better market visibility. This standard can help safeguard our future.