In August 2018, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published ISO 50001:2018, the revised standard for energy management systems. In this article, we provide you with an overview of the changes and share the latest information on the transition process.

What is ISO 50001?

The overall objective of ISO 50001 is to support organizations in their efforts to structure and implement a comprehensive energy management system, as well as to continually improve their energy performance. ISO 50001 assists organizations in their pursuit of energy-related objectives in a systematic, comprehensive, goal oriented, and sustainable manner. Adopting the standard enables organizations to meet legal requirements, to identify and analyze the flows of energy, to save costs and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What changes are there between the two versions?

  • The standard implements the High Level Structure (HLS) already found in ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, and will share the same terminology. This will make it easier to integrate energy management into the overall management system.
  • Key concepts relating to energy performance are more clearly defined; content has become more linguistically precise (Clause 3).
  • Increased focus on top management and leadership engagement during the implementation process (Clause 5).
  • Risk-based thinking to play a bigger role in improving energy performance (Clause 6).
  • The suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the management system will need to be revised, alongside energy performance. A bigger focus on continuous improvement remaining active in the development and implementation of the management system is also to be expected (Clause 10).

Transition Period

The publication of the standard marks the beginning of a transition period of three years, ending on August 19, 2021. This means that all certificates according to the old version will lose their validity ultimately on August 19, 2021.

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