With the clock very much ticking on compliance with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (Esos), organisations should be thinking about how they can get a return on the costs involved, says Gemserv in this sponsored post.
By 5 December this year, all large enterprises will need to have conducted an energy audit under the new scheme. These audits will look at energy use across buildings, industrial operations and transport with potential energy savings highlighted in a detailed report by an assessor. For organisations, the cost of compliance will run into many thousands of pounds depending on the scale and the scope of their operations.
While the new scheme applies to all large enterprises, those that have a certified ISO 50001 energy management system covering all energy use are already compliant with the scheme.
Although by now it is likely to be too late for most organisations to embark on getting ISO 50001 accreditation ahead of the Esos deadline, there is still a significant opportunity to use the Esos process to help tap into the wider advantages offered by ISO 50001.
Given the assessments required under Esos are comparable to the energy review element of ISO 50001, compliance will put organisations on the path to accreditation.
A growing number of organisations are already realising significant savings and reputational benefits by monitoring and reducing energy use through the ISO 50001 energy management standard.
It provides a comprehensive approach, requiring organisations to develop an Energy Management System (EnMS) to identify and monitor where energy is being used and continually improve processes to reduce energy consumption.
The standard follows the same “Plan Do Check Act” continuous improvement cycle as other ISO standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, but is the first to offer tangible returns on investment from achieving certification.
Savings and reputational gains
ISO 50001 offers a number of potential advantages over the Esos scheme. Ongoing monitoring of energy usage and waste ensures that opportunities to save energy are continually identified, offering greater financial savings than a one-off or occasional assessment.
The standard also insists on senior management involvement with sign off on the energy policy, energy review, and objectives and targets. This ensures that key decision makers are aware of the financial implications of acting, or not acting, to reduce energy use, and the progress being made against agreed goals.
Finally, certification offers organisations competitive advantage both in terms of commercial reputation and a reduction in operating costs. Organisations are able to demonstrate to clients and customers that they are fully committed to energy efficiency and reducing their environmental impact, not just complying with another mandatory government scheme.
At a time when procurement for major organisations and public sector bodies is increasingly taking account of the sustainability credentials of those bidding for work, being able to demonstrate commitment to reducing energy consumption can be an important advantage.
According to a number of recent surveys, despite the looming compliance deadline many businesses have not yet got to grips with what is required under Esos.
That means the coming months are likely to see a rush to get audits completed in time. But as organisations work to ensure they meet that deadline, it is important not to lose sight of the opportunities Esos presents beyond simply complying with a mandatory scheme.
Harnessing the process to implement a more comprehensive approach to reducing energy consumption through ISO 50001 can help unlock significant long term savings and enhance competitive advantage.
Gemserv offers consultancy services to organisations seeking to gain certification to ISO 50001.
If you would like to understand more about ISO 50001 or Esos, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org