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ISO 50001: 2018 – Are you ready?

Five years after its publication, the International Organisation for Standardisation has reviewed their ISO 50001 standard and last August 2018 published its new 2018 edition to conform to the Annex SL and its High Level Structure.

Organisations that currently comply with ISO 50001: 2011 need to be aware of the new qualification criteria.  Our ISO 50001 Lead Auditor, Gerard Bailey, talks through some of the changes you need to consider.

Key Changes to ISO 50001

  • High Level Structure (HLS) – providing better compatibility with other ISO management systems
  • Leadership – Stronger emphasis on the responsibility of leadership
  • Risk and Opportunity – business-oriented approach that requires broader risks and opportunities to be identified

High Level Structure (HLS)

One of the most significant changes to ISO 50001 is the introduction of the High Level Structure, Annex SL, which is shared by all new and revised ISO standards.  This is to ensure that all ISO management standards have the same look and feel to enable greater integration between systems of different disciplines.  There are ten core clauses within the HLS, these are as follows:

  1. Clause 1 – Scope
  2. Clause 2 – Normative References
  3. Clause 3 – Terms and Definitions
  4. Clause 4 – Context of the Organisation
  5. Clause 5 – Leadership
  6. Clause 6 – Planning
  7. Clause 7 – Support
  8. Clause 8 – Operation
  9. Clause 9 – Performance Evaluation
  10. Clause 10 – Improvement


The 2018 edition places a greater focus on top management to actively engage and demonstrate leadership with respect to the energy management system (EnMS); further details are provided in Chapter 5.1.

Risk and Opportunity

Organisations are now required to identify any risks or opportunities that may impact the ability of the EnMS to deliver its intended results.  During the planning process of an EnMS, organisations can anticipate potential scenarios and consequences so that undesired effects can be addressed before they occur. Similarly, scenarios that could offer a beneficial outcome can be identified and pursued.  This process can be regarded as complementary to 6.3 “Energy review”, which is a more detailed operational review to control and improve energy performance.

Preparing for ISO 50001:2018

It is important that you don’t delay the transition to the new ISO 50001 standards.  We recommend taking the following steps:

  1. Appoint an ISO 50001 Lead Auditor Speak to an ISO 50001:2018 competent Lead Auditor.  They will be able to talk through the new requirements of ISO 50001 and complete a gap analysis.
  1. Communicate Changes Inform your leadership team about the new regulations and communicate the revisions to the wider organisation to gain buy-in.
  1. Plan Review your existing EnMS and review your EnPIs and baselines with the support of your ISO 50001 Lead Auditor.  Consider how you will introduce the new requirements and create an implementation plan.
  1. Implement Changes Following a review of your EnMS, an ISO 50001:2018 competent Lead Auditor can guide you through the stages in implementing the necessary changes to the new standards.

ISO 50001: 2018 – Key Takeaways

The new ISO 50001: 2018 was published in August 2018 with a three-year transition period.  Certified Accredited Bodies (CABs) will have eighteen months from the date of publication to complete the transition to the new standards.  This means organisations applying for recertification after February 2020 will need to conform to the new standards.  In addition, organisations carrying out their annual energy audit after February 2020 will need to include the new standards as part of their transition assessments.

Final thoughts

If you are looking for an energy management system that is tailored to your business needs, ETS can provide you with 25 years of experience in dramatically improving energy efficiency and reducing environmental impacts. Whether your businesses have individual assets or large international portfolios, ETS can assist you in saving substantial amounts of money while significantly reducing your carbon performance.

To discuss your requirements, get in touch. You can contact us by calling 0117 205 0542 or drop us an email at

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