Energy Management: AFNOR Presents the Latest Developments in the ISO 50001 Standard at EM Strasbourg


As a long-standing partner of the Sustainable Development Chair at EM Strasbourg Business School, on October 16, 2018, AFNOR presented the major changes to the ISO 50001 standard on Energy Management for companies, on campus in the presence of Catherine Moutet, Head of AFNOR Energies Ingénierie and Pia Imbs, Head of the CSR Chair.


Sustainable Development: A Very Proactive Chair at EM Strasbourg Business School

As part of EM Strasbourg's commitment to the three values (diversity, ethics, and sustainable development), the Chair dedicated to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR) has a special place. Under the responsibility of Pia Imbs, the CSR Chair brings together some ten companies*, conducts research, and develops teaching on these themes, which are becoming increasingly important for companies. It also organizes half a dozen or so seminars a year in which all aspects of sustainable development are addressed.

As a member of the Chair, the AFNOR group naturally finds a solid ally in EM Strasbourg for advancing causes linked to sustainable development. “We have been partners for 8 years,” stressed Pia Imbs, “with constructive relations”. On the one hand, AFNOR benefits from the EM's sounding board to present its standards and their developments through training and information sessions, as is the case for the theme of energy performance (ISO 50001). On the other hand, it has also on several occasions allowed students to participate in drafting certain standards (ISO 26000 and the evolution of ISO 14000). “This is both a very concrete issuefor them and a great responsibility,” said Pia Imbs.

*EDF; BDR Thermea; Idée Alsace; RéseauGDS; Schroll; L'Alsacienne de Restauration-Elior; AFNOR; Abrapa; Spie

Energy Management: Developments in the ISO 50001 Standard Presented at EM Strasbourg

Catherine Moutet, head of AFNOR Energies Ingénierie, reviewed the main principles of this standard, which first appeared in 2011, as well as the new features for 2018.

How did you create the first version of the ISO 50001 Standard?

On the business side, there was a real need for a direction to follow on the issue of energy management. Many people had grasped the ISO 14001 standard on environmental management, but it was not in itself a guide to the issue of energy. Created in 2011, the ISO 50001 standard filled a void in terms of this essential issue by providing a methodology for organizations, private or public, to address the energy performance of their facilities and processes.

What does it recommend?

In concrete terms, the idea was to encourage a long-term approach within organizations, starting from their management, analyzing their current and future energy consumption, identifying and prioritizing potential savings, and implementing an action plan with trained managers. A new job was born: the “Energy Manager”, who steers the process internally. While the standard encourages companies to define a policy on this subject, driven at the highest level, and passes on good practice, it does not set numerical targets.

What does the 2018 version of the ISO 50001 standard bring?

First of all, it should be noted that each standard is reviewed every 5 years. So this new standard is part of this process. From a practical point of view, this development allows ISO 50001 to adopt the common core of all international management system standards, the so-called “High Level Structure”, to facilitate its implementation and compliance monitoring. It integrates the notion of CSR even better and invites companies to listen more to all stakeholders (employees, local residents, local authorities, subcontractors, etc.) in energy management. It also encourages the company's management to think about the company’s overall strategy and positioning: “Is it coherent to make energy savings on my industrial process if its purpose is to produce objects that consume a lot of energy? How can I make these objects evolve themselves ? “Finally, the evolution of the standard imposes the obligation to demonstrate improvements in energy performance, by measuring them precisely and displaying the results with relevant indicators.


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