Separating Energy Management from Environmental Management

Voting on a draft Energy Management System (ISO/DIS 5001) came to an end on August 26, 2010.  The project committee (ISO/PC 242) will seek to resolve comments and issue the final standard by mid-2011.  Companies will be able to seek certification to this standard or use it to self-declare their energy management system.  It is interesting to note that this energy management system will NOT be part of the widely used ISO 14000 (EMS) series.  The separation of this management system standard was supported by ANSI and Georgia Tech.  They teamed up in the past to write ANSI MSE 2000 – the predecessor to ISO 50001.

Even before the standard has been officially accepted by ISO, Georgia Tech has partnered with the US Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) to train manufacturers located in southeastern United States.  They have lined up an impressive number of energy efficiency demonstration facilities that include:  Nissan North America, Volvo Trucks, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Bridgestone America Tire Organization, Spirax Sarco, Eaton Corporation and Schneider Electric.  Georgia Tech is providing tailored assistance to these companies to implement an energy management system that will conform to the forthcoming ISO 50001 standard.  ANSI is supporting this effort with their “Superior Energy Performance” certification program.

The ITP is planning other training programs with Georgia Tech as part of their “Save Energy Now” initiative.  This is part of their mission to lead the national drive to reduce energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions by changing the way industry uses energy.  The US industrial sector currently consumes about a third of the nation’s energy and accounts for over one quarter of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. 

Companies that are already certified to ISO 14001, or have their own EMS in place, can choose to integrate ISO 50001 provisions into their current program rather than handling energy management as a separate operating silo in their organization.  CAPACCIO has a white paper to assist those who are seeking to integrate resource productivity (i.e., water, energy and materials) into an ongoing sustainability management system.  There are standards for water footprinting, carbon footprinting as well as materials aspects and impacts – all available through the ISO 14000 family of standards.  Having these standards managed in an integrated fashion within a company should help avoid the problems associated with maintaining separate efforts.  You do not need a separate program to better manage your energy use, improve energy performance and validate your energy efficiency.  It is the balancing of the use and loss of resources that will best contribute to your overall sustainability.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the white paper located at titled “Energy and Water Management Systems: Building More Silos?”

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