There are many different ISO standards, and it’s no wonder some companies get a little confused about which standard is best for them. Whilst ISO 14001 is an environmental management system, ISO 50001 is an energy management system and both are aids with which companies and/or individuals can achieve and sustain business success and satisfy increasing expectations from their customers of environmental responsibility and associated legal issues. However, many businesses prefer to begin with ISO14001, and then move on to 50001 once certain systems and processes are in place, if needs be.
Why ISO 14001?
ISO 14001, now a part of the EU’s Eco Management and Audit Scheme, or EMAS, is in operation in order to help businesses minimise their effect on the surrounding land, air and water supplies whilst at the same time ensuring compliance with all locally applicable laws and regulations. ISO 14001 provides a standardised framework for all participating businesses to follow and most invariably see reductions in costs along the way. Usually an initial review and analysis will identify what is required for more efficient environmental impact and looks at; for example, raw materials used as well as processes implemented. It is an entirely voluntary scheme but companies find that it is easy enough to integrate with existing management systems and efficiently encourages teamwork within the business, applying to all from manager level downwards and to small and large businesses across all industry sectors – manufacturing, engineering, service and supplies, public and private sectors.
ISO 50001 – The next step?
ISO 50001 is a more recently introduced standard, which sets out the criteria for improving energy performance and use, as well as the efficiency and security of energy consumption. This standard is primarily aimed at working towards the reduction of greenhouse gas (co2) emissions while at the same time helping businesses that implement it to reduce their energy usage and costs. An important requirement in this modern age concerns the need to meet legislative targets for the reduction of carbon emissions and fossil fuel usage. And governments across the world are increasingly imposing ever more stringent targets to achieve this. ISO 50001 is designed to work alongside the standards for energy management systems (such as ISO 14001) that improve processes and services. The main objective of ISO 50001 is to help businesses and individuals to constantly be aware of the need for good energy reduction practises and to consistently identify potential energy savings with a view to implementing permanent, long-term practises.
It is pretty clear that eventually the adoption and use of both of these standards will lead to permanent improvements and cost savings for companies, individuals and the environment as well as giving a much needed boost to the image of industry across the board.
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