npower, a UK-based gas and electricity provider, was able to reduce its carbon intensity by 56 percent between 2008 and 2015 by using ISO 50001, according to an article by Edie.net. This beat out their reduction goal of 50 percent, and was possible when adherence to the standard was combined with an enhanced data management system.
ISO 50001:2011 - Energy management systems - Requirements with guidance for use gives guidelines needed for a sound energy management system (EnMS). In the same vein as ISO 9001, the requirements given for this management focus on a specific idea (energy) and let an organization lay out a clear plan to achieve preset goals that let an idea trickle from the management to all personnel.
By its nature, ISO 50001 is not prescriptive, and its specific use depends on the organization itself. In general, it allows an organization to address all variables affecting energy performance that can be monitored. According to Jonathan Hulbert, npower’s sustainability manager, he likes ISO 50001 because “it is a ‘what’ rather than a ‘how’”, and gives you the framework to not only meet but also exceed the targets set in the standard. This is accomplished through clear designation of goals and responsibility, along with efforts to review and address any nonconformities to the set plan.
By communicating the energy data and the goals set through ISO 50001, npower was able to strengthen its energy management system and change the general mindset of its employees. However, as stated in the standard, top management shall review the organization's EnMS to assure its continuing suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness.” To continue its success, npower hopes to reduce its carbon intensity by an additional 25 percent between 2015 and 2020.
The story at npower is a great example of how international management guidelines can be shaped for an organization to let it achieve success. The efforts made by this company, with assistance from ISO 50001, have helped it save money and reduce its ecological footprint.
ISO 50001:2011 - Energy management systems - Requirements with guidance for use is available on the ANSI Webstore.