ISO 50001 provides management strategies and systems to increase energy efficiency, reduce costs and improve energy performance within a single building, or across many buildings. It aims to solve the energy dilemma on a non-technological level: that is, ensuring that management policies and practices account for energy efficiency metrics and that senior decision-makers are involved in the energy management process. Not only does this give organizations a consistent and overarching framework for continual improvement, but it also provides that across the entire organization, regardless of location or function. The involvement of an organization’s senior executives also demonstrates commitment and accountability to strategic energy efficiency initiatives.
How Can Companies Help?
Companies today play a crucial role in helping to develop and promote these initiatives, whether voluntary or regulatory in nature. For example, through our participation in USGBC LEED, ZigBee Building Automation Standard, and ISO 50001, we have identified a few key factors in helping to promote and deploy these standards with customers:
- Early participation in the development of standards or voluntary initiatives
- As new technologies emerge and the industry evolves, continuous engagement in programs to enable improvements
- Active implementation of programs, codes, and standards within our own buildings, and our products and solutions
- Collaboration with customers and solution channels to ensure open standards are adopted in the market, and that all green buildings initiatives are yielding the anticipated value in terms of validated operational performance over time
The early involvement in developing standards is a key factor in ensuring in-depth understanding that can then be applied to on-the-ground deployment. For example, Schneider Electric’s global headquarters located in France that houses 1,800 employees was the first building in the world to be certified ISO 50001 compliant. The certification of a company’s own building sends a strong signal to its customers and partners that the company believes in the viability, influence and robustness of the standard and has an ongoing commitment to making it a success. In the future, Schneider Electric expects to have additional buildings certified in the ISO 50001 standard, demonstrating further commitment to the standard.
Schneider has also embraced the USGBC and was one of three key players in the development of the updated LEED Demand Response Pilot Credit announced earlier this year. Originally launched in 2010, the revised guidelines aim to increase participation in automated demand response programs and were developed in conjunction with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Schneider Electric and Skipping Stone. This credit also contributes to LEED certification.
Only through the cooperation of industry, government and consumers can we launch and drive widespread adoption, voluntary or otherwise, of these transformational programs that pave the way for making all buildings high performance, sustainable structures. We believe open standards are the key to enabling deeper performance improvements and to widespread adoption. For example, a global alliance of major building automation companies brought the ZigBee Building Automation Standard to fruition. 24 companies that span different manufacturing sectors and sizes have undertaken pilots under ISO 50001. ISO 50001 is projected to have a huge impact on the world’s energy use – an estimated 60 percent of organizations are anticipated to be positively impacted by the initiative – all by giving multinational organizations a single, consistent, way to integrate energy management into their business operations.
We believe that collaboration between businesses, academia and governments is crucial to addressing the energy dilemma the world faces today. Over time, these collaborations will help to make buildings better. By better, we mean not just more efficient and advanced, but easier to run, cheaper to maintain and provide occupants with a better end user experience.
Mike Bielby, Schneider Electric’s director of buildings laboratory offer management, and Barry Coflan, the senior vice president of offer management for the company’s buildings business, contributed to this post.