The changes in ISO 50001

The updated version of ISO 50001 was published on 21 August 2018. Within the following 18 months the certification bodies must be accredited by the accreditation bodies for the new standard. After 18 months - i.e. from 21.02.2020 - the certification bodies may no longer carry out audits according to the "old" standard.

The conversion of existing ISO 50001 certificates usually takes place in connection with the regular monitoring and re-certification audits. The most important changes at a glance:

  • Introduction of the "High Level Structure": Following ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, ISO 50001 is now also being updated and converted to the so-called "High Level Structure", which is expressed in particular by a uniform designation and numbering of the standard chapters as well as uniform definitions of terms and reference texts. Above all, this facilitates the extension of existing management systems by further standards to an integrated management system (IMS).
  • Context of the organization: The organization must determine internal and external influences that are relevant to the EnMs and can have a positive or negative impact on the organization. Examples of internal influences can be, for example, corporate strategy, sustainability aspects or financial resources. Examples of external influences can be energy costs, CO2 emissions or climate change. 
  • Interested parties: Interested parties are affected by entrepreneurial action or, conversely, exert an influence on the company. In future, the organisation must determine the interested parties relevant to its EnMs as well as their requirements and expectations and determine which of these requirements are to become binding obligations.
  • Risks and opportunities: Companies must deal with existing and potential risks and opportunities in relation to their EnMs and plan their activities accordingly. The analysed risks and opportunities must be documented in writing and regularly questioned (e.g. energy price development, security of supply, best available technology, legislation).
  • Management responsibility: With regard to the establishment and operation of an EnM, top management will generally play a more important role in the audit. In the future, corporate management will be obliged to ensure that the desired results are achieved by the EnMs. This should ensure a comprehensive integration of the requirements into the operational procedures and business processes. At the same time, the clear requirement for an energy management officer is eliminated. An energy management team will be jointly responsible for the effective implementation of the EnM. However, depending on the type and size of the organization, a single person can continue to assume the role of the team.
  • Energy data collection: In the context of monitoring, measuring and analysing energy-related performance, methodological requirements are increasing. In particular, static factors such as long-term changes in the location or product mix should be given greater consideration.

If the organization has data that indicates that relevant variables have a significant impact on energy-related performance, the standard requires a normalization of the energy index or energy baseline and refers in this context to the ISO 50006 and ISO 50015 standards. However, these standards do not have to be applied as mandatory, but are to be understood as practical assistance.