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According to the IEA, significant energy efficiency potential remains unrealized in a number of key sectors - including industrial and commercial. A key problem is that energy efficiency is not integrated into the daily management practices of organizations.


An energy management system (EnMS) integrates energy management into existing business systems, enabling organizations to better manage their energy, sustain achieved savings, and continuously improve energy performance. Governments are now implementing various approaches to accelerate industry uptake of these systems, such as promoting compliance with the ISO 50001 energy management standard. Commitments on these approaches are sought through the Energy Management Campaign.


EnMS is proving to be an effective strategy for governments and industries to cost-effectively reduce energy use. ISO 50001 is not only a global best practice model for comprehensive and strategic energy management, but also serves as a global benchmark for climate and clean energy action. Energy management systems based on ISO 50001 best practices, or ISO 50001 certification are often key elements of energy efficiency policies around the world for large energy users, as well as small to medium enterprises.


Saved energy translates into reduced energy costs, increased productivity, enhanced energy security, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Case studies have demonstrated the clear business value of implementing energy management systems, showing energy performance improvements of 10 percent and more, with most of the improvement (in some cases, 70% or more) coming from low or no cost operational improvements.

What is EnMS?

An EnMS is a suite of procedures and practices that ensure systematic tracking, analysis, and planning of energy use through a Plan-Do-Check-Act framework of continual improvement. The diagram below illustrates the framework and lists the key activities associated with operating an EnMS:

Plan, do, check, act chart

What is ISO 50001?

ISO 50001 Energy management systems – Requirements with guidance for use (or simply “ISO 50001”) is the international energy management standard that was published in June 2011, and represents the effort of over 50 countries from around the world to develop an international best practice to help organizations better manage energy. Many economies have adopted ISO 50001 as their national standard and as of May 2014 there were over 3,500 certifications worldwide (covering over 7,300 sites). (Source: Peglau, May 2014). Learn more about ISO 50001 and related ISO energy management standards.


Analysis shows that implementation of ISO 50001 across the commercial and industrial sectors globally could drive cumulative energy savings of approximately 62 exajoules by 2030, saving over $600 billion in energy costs and avoiding 6,500 Mt of CO2 emissions. The projected annual emissions savings in 2030 are equivalent to removing 215 million passenger vehicles from the road.

Benefits of EnMS and ISO 50001 Adoption

EnMS adoption represents a strategic investment in sustainability and profitability. Businesses use EnMS to achieve and sustain large energy savings, optimize processes, boost competitiveness, and reduce risk. Governments support use of EnMS to help meet their policy goals for energy efficiency, energy security, economic growth, and climate change/carbon emission reductions.

Why ISO 50001?

  • ISO 50001 is a proven standard. Its implementation leads to reduced energy use and increased productivity and competitiveness. 
  • ISO 50001 is business-friendly. Organizations adopting the ISO 50001 standard are realizing initial energy improvements of 10% or more and achieving net cost savings, mostly through low-cost or no-cost changes to operations. A significant share of multinational companies are already familiar with other ISO management system standards (e.g., ISO 9001 and 14001), substantially strengthening the potential for private sector uptake and integration into sustainability strategies. 
  • ISO 50001 is already being adopted globally. The standard is an accepted and trusted means to energy savings with robust measurement and verification to support climate reductions.
  • The standard enables transparent progress on meeting climate commitments. The COP21 agenda called for globally relevant and transparent benchmarks for measuring progress toward international climate commitments. As an international standard developed in partnership with over 50 countries, ISO 50001 meets this need. Complementary policies and programs for IS0 50001 already exist in key markets such as China, India, the United States, and the European Commission. Direct links can be made between existing programs and new domestic and international climate commitments. 
  • Implementation effects enduring change and impacts. ISO 50001 helps organizations go beyond a simple project-based approach to energy efficiency. By embedding strategic energy management as an integral business practice, companies ensure that energy efficiency opportunities are continually realized and energy gains endure and grow over time.

EMWG and its partners work to gather data and other information on the benefits of adopting energy management systems and ISO 50001. Learn more at Build the Business Case.

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