ISO 50001:2018, Energy management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, is a voluntary International Standard developed by ISO.

It provides organizations with a recognized framework for integrating energy performance into their management practices and enables the development of action plans to continually improve energy performance and sustain these over time.

To achieve significant energy savings in the industrial sector, the International Energy Agency (IEA) recommends that governments should require large, energy-intensive industry, and encourage other industrial energy users, to conform to ISO 50001 or an equivalent energy management protocol (IEA, 2011). By referring to an international management standard in energy efficiency policies, policy makers can save time and resources as there is no need to develop and update national or regional standards and associated certification systems.


ISO 50001:2018
Energy management systems
Requirements with guidance for use

Who is involved?

To date, a number of governments around the world are referring to the ISO 50001 standard or using it as a core element in their industrial energy efficiency policies. Examples include:

  • The new German voluntary agreement with energy-intensive industry entered into force in 2013. Industries that comply with the terms of the agreement are eligible for a tax rebate on energy. Under the new agreement, companies need to introduce energy management systems or audits until the end of 2015, with certification according to EMAS or DIN EN ISO 50001.
  • The voluntary US Superior Energy Performance Program is a certification programme that provides industrial facilities with a roadmap for achieving continual improvement in energy efficiency while maintaining competitiveness. The programme is based around the standard ISO 50001.
  • The Canadian government offers grants for industrial organizations that adopt systems and processes to improve energy performance. The funding covers costs towards accreditation, including the development of an energy baseline, energy use assessment, energy performance monitoring and reporting, professional fees and training (50 % of eligible costs up to CAD 25 0000 in grant funding). To be eligible, companies must implement the CAN/CSA ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems Standard and submit an energy performance improvement plan to NR CAN.
  • Ireland’s voluntary agreements known as the Energy Agreements Programme (EAP), run by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), aim to stimulate energy efficiency activity within the largest consumers of energy in Ireland above and beyond business-as-usual. While the EAP is voluntary, participating companies are required to implement the international energy management systems standard ISO 50001. During the initial three-year period of the agreement, SEAI provides technical support, networking assistance and financial support.
  • The Chilean Energy Efficiency Agency (AChEE) launched the Pilot Program Implementation of ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems in 2013. Participating companies sign a technical cooperation agreement with the Agency to commit to implementing ISO 50001. The 13 companies that have begun the process of implementing the standard expect to achieve international certification during 2014.
  • Companies with an annual energy consumption of more than 1 200 tonnes of coal equivalent in Kazakhstan are now obliged by law to conduct energy audits to develop efficiency programmes that define energy-saving goals and build energy management systems according to ISO 50001.
  • Several countries are using a combination of long-term voluntary agreements and incentives to stimulate the uptake of energy management systems. Examples include Denmark (energy management requirement and carbon tax reduction, and the Netherlands (energy management requirement, support in implementing efficiency measures and tax reduction).

Organizations that support the development of energy efficiency policies are also starting to utilize the ISO 50001 standard. For example, within the framework of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) EnMS/ISO 50001 Programme, UNIDO provides policy advice and institutional capacity building for the development of a programmatic framework for energy management systems and standards in industry in South Africa, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Malaysia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Philippines, Egypt, Indonesia and Ecuador.

Number of ISO 50001 certified sites worldwide

Source: R. Peglau (German Federal Environment Agency), 2014

Examples by sector Overview
Energy management
To continually improve energy performance and sustain it over time.
Environmental management
To address problems related to climate change, for example.
Food products
To ensure that food is safe for consumption.
Laboratory medicine
To offer an important alternative to prescriptive regulations.
Medical devices
Standards play an important role in allowing the rapid introduction of new medical device technology.
Radio services
IEC/CISPR is responsible for the protection of radio services.
IEC/TC 9 is responsible for the electrical equipment and systems used in railways.
Road vehicles
Work to harmonize worldwide regulations for road vehicles.
Ships and marine technology
Defining standards and requirements that affect safety, security and the environment.
Transport of dangerous goods
How regulatory needs can lead to revisions and improvements in ISO standards.