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ISO 50001 / ISO 14001

The international standards ISO 50001 and ISO 14001 are focused on energy management and environmental management respectively. Whilst they are not compulsory, many organisations choose to adopt these standards as a framework for good governance.

The ISO standards for energy and environmental management are intended to help organisations embed energy and environmental issues within their daily operations, integrating with existing management structures wherever possible. They encourage businesses to consider their energy and environmental impacts across all areas of their operations – including in some cases, the supply chain.

Although ISO14001 (Environmental Management) has a broader remit than ISO50001 (Energy Management) they can both be used to identify cost savings, reduce business risks, and secure new business from clients, who increasingly use environmental performance as a way to assess suppliers.

Both standards can be applied to a single site or across a whole organisation, and can be introduced incrementally, or as a comprehensive programme. It is therefore easy to implement the standards at a pace which reflects available resources. Sustain can advise on how to implement a phased introduction to minimise the administrative burden of introducing the new systems.

ISO 50001

The ISO 50001 suite of standards presents a framework for establishing a high-quality Energy Management System. Rapidly gaining popularity, ISO 50001 helps organisations to effectively manage energy supply risks (such as rising costs and energy security), monitor energy use and identify efficiency savings; and to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. The standard also helps organisations to demonstrate sound management practices and environmental credentials, while facilitating compliance with climate-change regulations such as ESOS or CRC.

As with other ISO management standards, ISO 50001 follows an iterative Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle to encourage continual improvement. The standard includes developing an energy policy, putting targets in place and using internal energy data to look at where savings could be made. There is then a reporting element where organisations are required to track their results and look at how they can build and improve on those results.


The ISO14001 family of standards is focused on integrating environmental management into an organisation’s operations. Accredited organisations can use the logo to demonstrate that they have assessed the full range of environmental impacts resulting from their activities; are complying with all the applicable environmental regulations; and are seeking continual improvement in performance. Over 285,000 organisations worldwide are now certified to the ISO14001 standard.

ISO14001 involves developing an environmental policy, assessing significant environmental impacts, establishing a legal register, and acting to improve performance. The activities under consideration could include the use of chemicals and hazardous materials, the treatment of waste, management of dust, noise and other nuisances, or conservation of resources including energy, water and raw materials. It is ideal for businesses with a wide range of environmental impacts where energy and carbon emissions are only one part of the picture.

Talk to Sustain about ISO50001 / 14001