A few years ago, I was gathering requirements for ISO 50001 software, I asked early adopters of EN 16001 the following question: “You already have ISO 14001. Will you have a standalone system for EN 16001?”
These companies are all large multinationals in sectors like pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and electronics. My question was answered very clearly: 90% of the companies said that they would integrate ISO 14001 with EN 16001. As ISO 50001 has developed, the integration of energy management with ISO 14001 systems has continued. This article discusses how this is done.
Management systems such as ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 complement each other and the PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) model used in both standards is a common framework to integrate energy and environmental management in your organization. There are many elements of the ISO 50001 and ISO 14001 standards that are common or similar. Table 1 and Table 2 show the elements that are common or significantly similar in both standards, with cross checking and validation through audit, inspection and management review. In both standards, objective and target setting is an essential requirement to continual improvement.
The third column in the above tables highlights the management (“M”) versus technical (“T”) aspects of ISO 50001. The unique elements of ISO 50001 in Table 3 are all centered on technical activities. The majority of common elements between ISO 50001 and ISO 14001 (Table 1 & Table 2) are management activities so that the integration with the ISO 14001 system and use of existing resources should make implementing and maintaining ISO 50001 easier.
During my discussions with the early adopters of EN 16001, there appeared to be an initial reluctance by energy managers and the energy team to move towards full ISO 50001 certification because of the management system requirements. Energy teams are highly technical people who like to do technical stuff. The environmental teams usually have more experience in compliance management aspects for the ISO 14001 standard.
Obstacles to integrating management systems include: different teams with different skills; and also separate systems developed to address only those areas with which the teams are familiar. These systems make may include spreadsheets and different document and action management systems. Approaches to overcoming these obstacles include: merging these groups under one team-leader responsible for an integrated management system; or having a two-person leadership team comprising the energy manager and a management systems specialist; and also establishing interdisciplinary teams to effectively identify and implement improvement opportunities.
In ISO 50001, you need to examine carefully how your energy is used and identify improvement opportunities to improve energy performance. Environmental management teams now work closely with the energy team to identify and implement energy and waste savings at all stages in the manufacturing process (not just in the plant rooms!).
Many of the multinationals I spoke to had already an IT system for managing different aspects of their EN 16001 energy management system but were not comprehensive or integrated in an efficient manner. ISO 50001 and ISO 14001 involve many related activities across quality, health & safety, environmental and energy management.
The same tools and techniques can be used for the common activities of ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 such as document management, audit planning, corrective action management and management review but I would say this:
- The document management tools and techniques used to meet the requirements of ISO 14001 go beyond the requirements for ISO 50001.
- Your existing ISO 14001 audit and corrective action management processes can be used for ISO 50001.
- Your procedures can be easily adapted to represent a single integrated system cutting down on information flow and duplication of documentation.
- Consider care.
IT systems make the integration of ISO 50001 easier by supporting:
- Better management of time and resources by freeing up time administering the standard to actively pursuing more energy saving opportunities.
- Dynamic workflow enabling better teamwork and ensuring faster and more effective energy saving action completion and sign-off.
- Strong document control with audit trail history of documents and actions and the elimination of documents duplication across the management systems.
- Ease of finding information so that nothing gets lost and that the correct information is available to right person easily.
- Easy planning of the management activities (e.g. audits, meetings, actions) with reminders when target dates approach.
- Faster implementation and maintenance of the certifications.
- Standard methods for processing environmental and energy saving suggestions.
For the unique aspects of ISO 50001 in Table 3, IT software solutions provide:
- Efficient and dynamic management of objectives and targets in a dynamic way.
- Automated reporting for monitoring energy performance improvements.
Bottom Line: Your ISO 50001 implementation can and should be integrated with your ISO 14001 system. They both complement each other and efficient IT systems will help to achieve their integration quicker and easier. With the right commitment, integration will result in financial and business benefits through improved efficiency.
This article was also published in Energy Manager Today. You can view the article here.
The software leads to the automation and implementation of the ISO 50001 standard, and goes beyond completing the standard to allow users to save energy on an on-going basis., Energy Manager, World’s 1st University to get ISO 50001