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ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard Targeted for Publication in 3Q 2011

Against a background of rising world energy prices, the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) announcement of a third quarter 2011 target for publication of its ISO 50001 International Standard for energy management is particularly timely. ISO 50001 will help organizations to improve their energy performance, increase energy efficiency, and reduce climate change impacts.

ISO 50001 will establish a framework for industrial plants, commercial facilities, or entire organizations to manage energy. Targeting broad applicability across national economic sectors, it is estimated that the standard could influence up to 60% of the world's energy use.

ISO 50001 is being developed by ISO project committee (PC) 242, Energy management, with the chairmanship held by the United States.

"Everyday, organizations all over the world deal with issues such as energy supply availability, reliability, climate change, and resource depletion," said Edwin Piñero, ISO PC 242 chair and executive vice president and chief sustainability officer at Veolia Water North America. "A critical element in addressing these issues is how effectively an organization manages its energy use.

"ISO 50001 provides a proven model that helps organizations systematically plan and manage their energy use. With a strong focus on performance and continual improvement, ISO 50001 will contribute to enhanced energy efficiency and prudent energy use. An extremely high level of consensus drove our committee's fast progress toward publication - proof that the world needs and wants this standard."

The secretariat of ISO/PC 242 is provided by the partnership of the ISO members for the United States (the American National Standards Institute - ANSI) and Brazil (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas - ABNT). Forty-three ISO member countries are participating in its development, with another 12 as observers. Liaison organizations include the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the World Energy Council (WEC).

The document is based on the common elements found in all of ISO's management system standards, assuring a high level of compatibility with ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management). ISO 50001 will provide the following benefits:

  • A framework for integrating energy efficiency into management practices
  • Making better use of existing energy-consuming assets
  • Benchmarking, measuring, documenting, and reporting energy intensity improvements and their projected impact on reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Transparency and communication on the management of energy resources
  • Energy management best practices and good energy management behaviors
  • Evaluating and prioritizing the implementation of new energy-efficient technologies
  • A framework for promoting energy efficiency throughout the supply chain
  • Energy management improvements in the context of GHG emission reduction projects

Roland Risser, chair of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO PC 242, and manager of the Building Technologies Program at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), said, "This new International Standard provides the structural framework for commercial and industrial companies to continually improve their energy intensity - saving money, improving competitiveness, and reducing pollution. When companies can link efficiency to profitability, that's a win-win."


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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