Official rules


The Energy Management Leadership Awards recognize leading organizations for their energy management achievements and raise the profile of the ISO 50001 energy management system as a proven, broadly applicable solution to global energy, climate, and decarbonization challenges.

Organizations certified to ISO 50001 are invited to submit case studies for recognition. Each entry will describe how ISO 50001 implementation occurred within the organization and resulting business benefits. Entries will undergo a juried selection process by a committee of experts from around world. Selection will take place in May–July 2024; award recipients will be publicly announced in October 2024.

The program offers three types of recognition:

  • CEM Award of Excellence in Energy Management: The top entries will receive the prestigious Award of Excellence. This global award brings high-profile government recognition and media attention to organizations that transform the way they use energy. The award aims to acknowledge organizations of various sizes, types, sectors, and geographies.
  • National Energy Management Awards: Governments may honor organizations submitting top entries from their countries.
  • Energy Management Insight Awards: All qualifying entries will receive this recognition for helping to build global insight on the benefits of energy management systems.

See the Case Study Topics and Evaluation Criteria.

Global Recognition

CEM Award of Excellence recipients will be recognized at the 2024 Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, to be held October 1–3, 2024. Recipients of the CEM Award of Excellence, National Awards, and Insight Awards will be announced in a press release through the CEM. In addition, participating governments will bestow national honors on the organizations with the top entries from their countries. Participating government agencies will determine how and when to formally recognize their national winners. Case studies will be shared online as an inspiration and resource for other organizations.

Who Should Apply

Organizations from around the world in the industrial, commercial, or public sector certified to ISO 50001 may submit an entry:

  • ISO 50001 certificates must be issued by third-party certification bodies that are accredited by Accreditation Bodies that are members of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). Learn more about accredited certification bodies in the FAQs. A copy of this certificate must be included with the submittal of each case study; expired certificates are not accepted. The certificate must be valid throughout the competition and not expire prior to October 10, 2024.
  • Entries may feature ISO 50001 implementation at a corporate level, multi-site, or single facility, as noted on the ISO 50001 certificate. Entries at any of these levels (corporate, multi-site, or single facility) are welcome and encouraged. A case study that addresses a corporate energy management system with multiple sites included within the scope of the ISO 50001 certificate needs to cover the entire full scope of the certification (i.e., not a subset of the sites). If you submit a case study describing ISO 50001 implementation and results for multiple sites, a copy of each relevant site’s ISO 50001 certificate is required. View more guidance on corporate and multi-site entries in the FAQs.
  • Energy performance improvement results must be included case studies. Projected results are not accepted.
  • For organizations that have participated in this awards program in previous years:
    • Previous award recipients may enter the 2024 awards program if the scope and boundaries of the EnMS have changed (e.g., an expanded scope from single facility to multiple or certification of a different facility within the organization) or after recertification to ISO 50001. The program does not accept re-entry of case studies that received awards from this program in past years (i.e., revised versions of case studies that address the same scope and boundaries and include the same ISO 50001 certificates).
    • Organizations that have previously won an Award of Excellence in Energy Management are not eligible for the 2024 Award of Excellence but may compete for an Insight Award.
  • Eligibility to participate in the competition is subject to confirmation by the Awards Administrator, based on the stated criteria and consistency with any applicable legal or policy constraints of the relevant funding agency or agencies.  The Awards Administrator reserves the right to exclude from further consideration any entrant deemed ineligible.

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How to Apply

To enter the competition, you must submit a copy of your organization’s ISO 50001 certificate, an entry form, and a structured case study.

  • First, if considering participation, please send an email to to receive important updates or clarifications. This does not obligate participation. Please provide the full name and email address of the point of contact, company name (and the site, if applicable), and country.
  • Second, complete the required Entry Form and case study:
    • Use the Case Study Template and address the Case Study Topics.
    • Entries that best meet the Evaluation Criteria will receive highest scores.
    • Case studies must be no shorter than four (4) pages. Six (6) pages is the recommended length1.
    • English must be used for provision of information in the case study template.
  • Third, submit the completed Entry Form in Excel and case study in Word format, along with a copy of the ISO 50001 certificate(s) issued by the accredited certification body, via electronic mail to no later than the submission deadline. The subject line should include “Energy Management Leadership Award – 2024 Entry [insert your organization’s name]”. A return email will confirm receipt.

By submitting a case study for consideration for the Energy Management Leadership Awards, organizations grant permission to the Clean Energy Ministerial and its partners to use the case study and contents therein. This includes but is not exclusive to sharing the case study online, sharing the case study contents (e.g., photos, quotes, business benefits and other excerpts) via press releases, presentations, etc. The case study submitter’s name and email may also be shared with the energy ministry from the entrant’s respective country in case the ministry wishes to congratulate or contact award recipients.

1 Case studies exceeding eight (8) pages will not be accepted. Strive for six (6) pages.

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Submission Deadline

Entries are due by Tuesday, 14 May 2024 at 22:00 UTC (GMT). Early submission by 1 May 2024 is encouraged to ensure the eligibility of your entry; upon receipt, each entry will be reviewed for eligibility. If entries are incomplete, the awards administrator will notify the submitter of missing information, and the submitter may resolve the issue and re-submit at any time up to the submission deadline.

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Case Study Topics and Evaluation Criteria

The case study that you submit should address all of the energy management topics listed in the following table (Case Study Topics). The table shows the total number of points you can earn for each topic. Experts will review your entry and score each topic based on the evaluation criteria. The best possible score is 100 points.

Please use care in reviewing the evaluation criteria: Entries that best meet the criteria will receive the highest scores.

Case study topics

Organizations using an ISO 50001 energy management system (EnMS) will possess different levels of experience, pursue different goals, and use different approaches. Each story is unique and important. Please review the case study topics and evaluation criteria, and then develop a case study that tells the story of your EnMS.

Case Study TopicsPoints Available
ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE/BUSINESS CASE: Describe your organization, its motivations/drivers for energy efforts, and goals. Describe the role of energy management within the organization’s larger business strategy. Describe how your organization connects energy management to its priorities on climate change, sustainability, and/or decarbonization. If applicable, describe any program that required, rewarded, or encouraged your energy management actions.10
BUSINESS BENEFITS: Describe your organization’s experience, accomplishments, and business impacts as a result of implementing ISO 50001. If your organization recertified to ISO 50001, address the value of maintaining the certification. At a minimum, address the following in your response and focus on the benefits attributable to the ISO 50001 EnMS:
– Energy performance improvements achieved (see instructions), energy and energy cost savings, and reduction in emissions (CO2 or equivalent units)
– Any non-energy or other benefits
– Costs (and estimated staff time) and energy cost savings associated with implementing the EnMS, see instructions
– If implemented across multiple sites, the benefits of that approach

Optional topic:
– Describe the extent to which your organization used its EnMS to manage or lower energy-related GHG emissions. Describe the business drivers and benefits that make the case for using the EnMS to manage energy-related GHG emissions.
– Value of using ISO 50001 in supply chain engagements, i.e., with service and material suppliers beyond your organization’s operational boundaries
PLAN: Describe how you developed and planned the implementation of your EnMS. At a minimum, address the following in your response:
– How did you gain the commitment of top decision makers in your organization?
– How was your top management involved in the implementation process?
– How did you obtain financial commitments and resources?
– How did you use data to help you develop an appropriate approach? Describe the process of understanding energy consumption and use.
– Describe your process for reviewing and analyzing energy use.
– Describe how your organization selected its projects, i.e., how it decided where to focus resources and prioritize action.
– How did you ensure that the EnMS would support the strategy and targets of your organization?
– If the EnMS was for multiple sites, how was it developed for multiple sites?

Optional topics: 
– Which of your EnMS planning activities addressed management of energy-related GHGs and how? For example, add any specific considerations of energy-related GHGs while addressing any of the required topics in this section.
– If this was for recertification, how did the process differ from initial certification?
DO, CHECK, and ACT: Describe how you implemented your plan, reviewed results, and took steps to continually improve. At a minimum, address the following in your response:
– Describe the implementation process. Who was involved? If this was for multiple sites, how was implementation coordinated?
– How did the top management of your organization provide motivation or support for the EnMS implementation?
– List key activities identified and implemented in the plan that improved energy performance
– Were the targets achieved?
– How did you determine whether performance had improved? How did you validate and verify results? For energy performance improvement, see instructions and address the methodology for determining energy performance improvement, specifying the following:
• Timeframes for your baseline and reporting periods 
• Energy baseline and whether the organization has an energy baseload 
• Indicators used to monitor and assess energy performance improvements 
• Key high-level equations and explanation to estimate energy savings and energy performance improvement  
Relevant variables affecting energy consumption 
• Method(s) to ensure normalization (If normalization was not used, then rationale must be provided)
– What tools and resources were used? 

Optional topics:
– How did your EnMS implementation activities address energy-related GHGs? For example, add any specific considerations of energy-related GHGs while addressing any of the required topics in this section.
– How did you implement operational control?
– How did you engage employees in energy management? Was new training needed?
– Did procurement processes at your organization change based on the EnMS data?
– How did you prepare for the third-party EnMS audit?
– Besides energy and costs, what else did you monitor and measure? For example, level of staff EnMS knowledge or competency, number of non-conformities, and other non-energy measures.
TRANSPARENCY: Describe how you publicly announced your organization’s ISO 50001 certification or reported this certification to voluntary reporting programs (for example, Carbon Disclosure Project)5
– If you were to do it all over again, what would you do differently? For example, what steps, tools, or enhancements would have improved your EnMS implementation even further. This is not a summary or repetition of the measures that your organization found beneficial. 
– What are your next steps and future plans for your ISO 50001 EnMS?
QUOTES AND VISUALS: Include a quotation or two highlighting the business value of ISO 50001, its usefulness, or the role it plays in decarbonization. These quotes should provide unique insights rather than generalities. Include supporting graphics, such as a photo of your energy team or facility and any charts, graphs, or tables showing relevant data, such as costs and benefits. Captions should accompany the visuals.5

Evaluation criteria

Your case study should demonstrate the business case for using an EnMS certified to ISO 50001 and provide useful insights to help others understand the key steps in setting up and maintaining an EnMS.

Case study provides:

  • Insightful description of how an EnMS can be tailored to meet the specific goals and circumstances of an organization (whether the organization is experienced or new to EnMS, pursuing initial certification or recertification, or implementing at a single site or multiple sites).
  • Insight on how to implement an EnMS, assess progress, and ensure continual improvement.
  • Insight on the use of energy measurement data to guide planning and decision-making to achieve and maintain energy performance improvements.
  • Compelling business case for the use of an ISO 50001-certified EnMS (based on varied benefits and related labor or capital investments).
  • Clear linkage on using ISO 50001 to decarbonize operations.

Description of Energy Performance Improvement

See the FAQs for explanations of energy performance concepts and terms, including: energy savings, normalization, energy performance indicators, energy baseline, baseline period, and reporting period. 

Calculating energy performance improvement requires comparing energy consumption over the reporting period with the energy consumption baseline. For the comparison to be meaningful, it is important that it is carried out under equivalent conditions—or, the comparison must account for the difference in conditions. Note the following: 

  • Baseline and reporting period shall consist of at least 12 consecutive months2
  • Baseline period shall occur before start of or during operations of the ISO 50001 energy management system. 
  • Reporting period shall occur during operations of the ISO 50001 energy management system and always after the baseline period. 
  • Baseline and reporting periods shall not overlap.

Provide the following information in the case study: 
(1)    Baseline period considered for energy performance improvement calculation
The organization shall indicate duration and the year in which baseline period occurred. 
Examples: i) 12 or 24 or 36 consecutive months starting in Month X Year Y; ii) Year 2018; iii) Years 2018–2020; iv) June 2019–May 2020; etc. 

(2)    Reporting period considered for energy performance improvement calculation 
The organization shall indicate duration and the year(s) in which the reporting period occurred.
Examples: i) 12 or 24 or 36 or more consecutive months starting in Month G Year H; ii) Years 2019–2020; iii) Year 2021; iv) June 2020–May 2021, etc. 

(3)    Indicators used to monitor and assess improvement of energy performance 
The organization shall describe the energy performance indicator(s) used within the ISO 50001 scope and boundary. Specify also whether indicators are specific and calculated for each energy source (e.g., electricity, natural gas, etc.) or not. 

Please note that ISO 50001:2018 requires comparison of actual versus expected energy consumption for the purpose of performance evaluation. Companies that may use different indicators such as energy consumed per kg/liter/other physical unit of product produced or others shall briefly explain why they use such indicators.

(4)    Energy baseline
The organization shall indicate the value of the energy performance indicator(s) for/over the baseline period. Information on whether and how often the organization has updated its energy baseline(s) since the beginning of the operations of its ISO 50001-EnMS would be highly appreciated.

(5)    Whether the organization has an energy baseload
The organization shall indicate the type of its operations (i.e., 24 hours – 7 days a week; 16 hours – 5 days a week; etc.) and whether the organization consumes energy also when there are no production/services/business operations. For instance, a dairy factory with operations 16 hours per day, Monday to Saturday, consumes energy also during the nights and on Sundays for refrigeration, IT infrastructure, safety system, and lighting.

(6)    Relevant variables affecting energy consumption 
The organization shall indicate relevant variables affecting energy consumption and possibly briefly elaborate on the how.

Examples of relevant variables include weather conditions (outdoor temperature: heating degree days or cooling degree days), production output, occupancy levels, raw material humidity, raw material properties, etc. 

(7)    Key high-level equation(s) used to estimate energy savings and energy performance improvement
The organization shall indicate the key high-level equations used to estimate energy savings and energy performance improvement—and provide essential explanation for understanding. Examples of high-level equations and essential text are provided below for illustrative purposes:

Example 1 Organization A:

example 1 org a

Organization A compares Actual vs. Expected energy consumption on a weekly basis and calculates annual energy savings by summing up the weekly results. 

Energy performance improvements:

energy performance improvements

Example 2 Organization B:

example 2 org b

Organization B calculates total energy savings for the reporting period by adding savings of individual projects implemented during the reporting period. For each project, only energy savings until the end of the reporting period are considered. 

Energy performance improvements:

energy performance improvements2 1

If your organization used different equations, then provide a similar level of information in your description. 

(8)    Method or methods used to ensure normalization 
Indicate briefly if and how the organization has carried out normalization of energy performance. If the organization did not use normalization in estimating its energy savings and energy performance improvement, then the organization should provide rationale explaining why normalization was not needed. 
Examples include regression-analysis based energy consumption model, modification of data, adjustment factors, and others. Please refer to the FAQ for examples of normalization.

See the FAQs for example calculations to calculate energy performance improvement using normalization.

NOTE: Baseline periods shorter than 12 months would be considered acceptable only in the case of newly built facilities, buildings, etc. that have been in operation for less than 1 year.

EnMS Costs, Estimated Staff Time, and Energy Cost Savings

Determine the cost to set up and maintain the EnMS outside the cost of energy projects. Include the following:

  • Internal/external staff time to develop, implement, and maintain EnMS
  • Additional monitoring and metering equipment installed to meet EnMS requirements
  • Internal/external staff time to prepare for external audit
  • Third-party audit
  • Technical assistance (e.g., hired consultants to assist with EnMS implementation)
  • Other (e.g., internal communications)

For estimated staff time, indicate the following in your case study:

  • Internal/external staff time to develop, implement, and maintain EnMS (choose 1):
    • Less than a half year of equivalent staff time
    • One half year to one year
    • Greater than 1 year
    • Don’t know

For energy cost savings, indicate the following in your case study:

  • Overall energy cost savings = Savings from the EnMS + savings from projects with capital investment
  • Percent of overall cost savings that was due to operational savings:
    • Less than 25%
    • 25-50%
    • 50-75%
    • 75-100%

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Selection Process

The Awards Administrator will conduct an initial review of each entry to ensure eligibility and confirm that the ISO 50001 certificate was issued by an accredited certification body.

Selection will entail a juried process with a panel of energy management system experts from diverse countries. Each expert must notify the Awards Administrator in writing if the expert has any substantial prior knowledge of, or contact or involvement with, any of the entries assigned for review. The Awards Administrator will work with the experts to prevent conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts.

Each case study will be reviewed by at least two experts. The experts will score the entries on a scale from 0 to 100 using the Evaluation Criteria. All accepted case studies that address the case study topics and meet the evaluation criteria will become “qualified entries” thereby earning an Insight Award. The highest-scoring entries will move forward as finalists for the CEM Award of Excellence.

Upon the completion of the selection process, the Awards Administrator will coordinate with agencies that are offering a National Award and provide the highest-scoring entries from that agency’s country. Note: Not all countries are offering National Awards. Generally, if the highest scoring entry from a country is also selected for the Award of Excellence, the next highest scoring entry will receive the national award. Some countries may apply national policy or program criteria in addition to the Energy Management Leadership Awards criteria. The sponsoring agency from participating countries will contact the National Award winners.

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Award Notification

After the selection process is complete, award recipients will be notified by email. The anticipated date for notification is August 2024.

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Awards Program Administrators

The Energy Management Leadership Awards is managed by Energetics Incorporated with technical support from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Energetics served as the awards administrator for the CEM’s former Energy Management Working Group (EMWG). The EMWG was launched in 2010 by the CEM and IPEEC, with UNIDO serving as the EMWG Operating Agent in 2016 until the initiative officially concluded its work in September 2020.