ISO 50001 standard: definition and benefits

Posted on: 29 December 2022

Every business inevitably has to use energy to function properly. Currently, the cost of energy continues to increase: both from a financial point of view, like the gas price and electricity, but also from an environmental point of view.

It is in this context that the 500001 standard was implemented. Its objective is to help companies reduce their energy consumption and preserve the planet.

What is the ISO 50001 standard?

The ISO 50001 standard is a certification created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO, International Organization for Standardization). The standard supports organizations in setting up an EMSn or Energy Management System. This system should allow more efficient and reasonable use of energy resources. One of the levers of the ISO 50001 standard is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of organizations. The standard is reviewed every 5 years to ensure that it still meets current requirements.

Is the ISO 50001 standard mandatory?

Like all ISO standards, this one is not mandatory, it is voluntary. This certification is said to be an international voluntary standard.

However, even if the ISO 50001 standard is not mandatory, we recommend that you use it to formalize your energy management approach. Indeed, the requirements of this certification have been the subject of a consensus between all the professionals who participated in its drafting on the best practices to improve its energetic efficiency.

What type of company is this standard aimed at?

The ISO 50001 standard is aimed at all organizations wishing to limit their impact on the environment, regardless of their size, location, legal status, sector (public or private). All companies can implement the ISO 50001 standard, regardless of their level of energy consumption or performance.

Why get ISO 50001 certified?

Being ISO 50001 certified has many benefits and advantages for companies:

Thanks to the certification, you will have the assurance that the system you have put in place allows you to optimize your energy expenditure and consumption.

Following the reduction of your carbon footprint, you will be able to promote your environmental commitment to stakeholders. This approach can also allow you to improve your brand image.

You will involve your employees and collaborators by encouraging them to use energy in a more responsible and rational way. In this way, you will be able to mobilize and federate your teams.

From a financial point of view, your expenses will be optimized and you will benefit from a bonus of 20% of your CEE (energy saving certificates).

You will benefit from a reduction of the TGAP (General Tax on Polluting Activities).

You will improve your competitiveness against the competition.

You will not need to pass the mandatory energy audit (more details below).

How to get ISO 50001 certification?

Steps to obtain certification

The procedures for obtaining ISO 50001 certification are carried out with an organization accredited to issue this standard. You must then follow several steps:

Step 1 (optional): the assessment visit, this step is supposed to make you understand the issues of the audit. Although not mandatory, we recommend that you complete it as it increases the chances of receiving certification.

Step 2 : the programming of the audit.

Step 3 : the initial audit, the auditor will analyze the company's data and practices, he will also meet the team. You will then know what are the points to improve. He will make a second visit within 45 to 90 days following the first audit.

Step 4 : examination of your file by the certification committee and audit report.

Step 5 : restitution, conclusion of the audit. The auditor will grant you (or not) the certification. If you obtain it, you will have the certificate for 3 years and can display the ISO 50001 standard logo for the same period.

Step 6 : monitoring and renewal, every 3 years, a renewal audit takes place. It is possible to change the certification body for these audits.

Note that the time required to obtain certification can be long: between 6 and 18 months. This duration may vary depending on the size and number of sites concerned by the request. If you have already obtained ISO 14001 certification, the procedures for obtaining the ISO 50001 standard are simplified. Throughout these steps, you can be accompanied by a service provider such as Dametis.

The PRO-SMEn program

Regarding the financing of the process, the State has rolled out a program aimed at controlling energy consumption (PRO – SMEn). To speed up the certification of companies, this program allocates a bonus equivalent to 20% of the energy expenditure of certified organizations (up to a limit of €40). The 000-2018 session to obtain the bonus is currently underway, it will end on October 2022, 1. To participate, you must identify yourself before June 2022, 30.

What is the difference between the energy audit and the ISO 50001 certification?

The energy audit is mandatory for large companies:

  • companies with more than 250 employees;
  • companies with an annual turnover of more than €50 million and a balance sheet total of more than €43 million;

This energy audit must be renewed every 4 years. It makes it possible to draw up a balance sheet on the organisation's energy consumption.

ISO 50001 certified companies do not need to carry out an energy audit, because the audit carried out to obtain certification is more stringent.

What is the difference between ISO 50001 and ISO 14001?

The ISO 50001 and ISO 14001 standards are often confused. These two standards have been built on the same principles, so it is easy to combine them. The ISO 50001 standard was notably revised in 2018 to be more in line with the 14001 standard.

The big difference is that the ISO 50001 standard focuses on energy when the 14001 standard is dedicated to all types of environmental impacts.

Note: unlike the ISO 50001 standard, obtaining the ISO 14001 standard does not allow you to be exempt from the energy audit.

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