In 2011, the International Standard Organisation introduced a new accreditation for the establishment and certification of energy management systems (EnMS): ISO 50001. Since that time, implementation of associated ISO 50001 standards and best practices has grown dramatically across the globe.
Obtaining ISO 50001 accreditation can play a key role in helping companies stay competitive, particularly in energy intensive industrial processes.
In fact, the standard is probably the only ISO accreditation available to a company by which its success can be directly measured in financial savings.
Some countries, such as Germany, are even offering tax breaks for companies gaining the accreditation. For others, such as the UK where large companies are mandated to undergo an energy audit before December 2015 companies are choosing to adopt the standard as an incentive to reduce their emissions and save on energy costs.
The ISO 50001 standard can be integrated with existing accreditations for which a company has already been certified, such as ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and ISO 9001 Quality Management System.
However, ISO 50001 raises the bar by requiring companies to actively demonstrate their improved energy performance through creating an action plan to achieve their own targets. With this audit process, they are more likely to see tangible financial benefits.*
In many current industrial sites, an energy audit can identify immediate inefficiencies, which when corrected, can have substantial saving benefits, such as leak management for compressed air systems and improvements in heating and lighting systems. Furthermore, by taking a more in-depth look into processes, additional savings opportunities can be identified and addressed as part of a systematic energy reduction plan.
Another often overlooked factor that can offer significant benefits at a relatively low investment cost is lubrication. As demonstrated in a number of Mobil SHCTM Club articles, energy efficient lubricating oils can provide efficiency gains up to 6 percent in certain applications. The importance of lubricants in providing benefits such as these is best summarized in the following quote by Matthias Voigtmann, Managing Director of Energy Consulting Algäu of Germany:
"Numerous efficiency analyses are performed on an annual basis within the scope of ISO 50001 - however many of them end in front of the machine. In this case, it is particularly important to examine production processes closely. The role played by lubricants when it comes to lowering costs is often underestimated."
The chart below shows how the use of Mobil brand high performance lubricants can lead to long-term energy savings and significant emissions reductions:
"A New Standard in Energy Management" by, Conor Wilkinson used with permission of the Mobil SHCTM Club (all rights reserved.)