Recertification of an energy management system according to ISO 50001 has become more demanding – or why a requirement in the accreditation standard ISO 50003 consistently demands transparency of energy consumption
The latest revision of the energy management standard ISO 50001 was published on 20 August 2018. The importance of continuously improving energy efficiency is highlighted. Many companies that already operate an energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001 are probably already aware of this requirement, as it has already been communicated to certification bodies in ISO 50003, which has been applicable since November 2016, and thus indirectly to the companies which carry out the audits.
ISO 50003 is a so-called accreditation standard and is expressly aimed at bodies that audit and certify energy management systems. It applies in conjunction with ISO/IEC 17021-1, which deals with the certification process.
Energy use, energy consumption and energy efficiency must be verifiably demonstrated
“The most important content of ISO 50003 is that an improvement of the energy performance, i.e. the triad of energy use, energy consumption and energy efficiency, must be comprehensibly proven by the company. The auditor’s task in turn is to record this improvement in the ISO 50001 audit in his documentation. If there is not enough evidence to prove this, this can be treated as a significant non-compliance, which means that in the worst case there may even be a major deviation and thus an early end to the audit,” says Matthias Voigtmann, managing partner of ECA Concept and long-standing ISO-50001 auditor.
What do the accompanying standards ISO 50006, ISO 50003 and ISO 50015 have to offer?
How this energy performance and its continuous improvement can be measured using key performance indicators and energy baselines can be found in the accompanying standard ISO 50006. ISO 50003 also refers to ISO 50015, which provides guidance on measuring and verifying energy performance. Now the aspect of measurement is moving into the foreground. The requirements and references from these three standards have obviously proven themselves in operational practice and are now increasingly to be found in the new ISO 50001. This means that they now also become binding requirements directly for companies.
No transparency without measurement concept – no proof of improvement without transparency
Further essential contents of ISO 50003 are requirements for the auditing process, such as the time required and the implementation itself, or the competence of auditors. In particular, ISO 50003 shows, however, without a suitable measurement concept there is no transparency of consumption data, without transparency there is no possibility of proving one’s own improvement, and without proof, in the worst case, the certificate cannot be issued or will be withdrawn.
Display consumption data with Sankey diagrams comprehensible
Transparency of consumption data does not only mean having the figures, but also presenting them in a suitable way and as meaningfully structured information. Many companies successfully use Sankey diagrams for this purpose. For companies for which recertification is important, it is therefore advisable to familiarize themselves with the requirements in order not to experience any surprises during the next audit.
Learn more about the revision of the ISO 50001 standard
Information on the revision of the ISO 50001 standards, which now also takes this aspect into account in the direct requirements of the audited companies, can be obtained in training events offered by ECA Concept.
This guest article was written by Andreas Kopczewski from ECA Concept.
Andreas Kopczewski is managing partner of ECA Concept. Since its predecessor, DIN EN 16001, he has supported companies in the introduction and operation of their energy management systems and is a trained energy and environmental auditor and sustainability manager.