ISO 50001 – Getting Energetic about Energy Management
Above: Our manufacturing facility in Herefordshire has been certified to energy management standard ISO 50001 and features a range of energy saving measures including highly insulated walls and roofs, LED lighting and mechanical heat recovery ventilation.
Over the course of a normal week most of us engage in some form of energy management, whether it be switching off at the plug, lowering the thermostat or washing at thirty degrees.
Over time, these seemingly small measures can have a pretty noticeable impact on household bills, so it’s no surprise that when it comes to large scale manufacturing these benefits can increase even further. The challenge for manufacturers is how to implement and maintain effective energy management across sites which are often large and varied.
The Government’s Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) provides a basic regulatory guideline; however, as Andrew Greens highlighted in a recent CIBSE roundtable, the scheme’s four-year audit cycle can easily lead to lethargy and long periods of inaction. As a result, when we decided to formalise the energy management processes at our Pembridge site back in 2014, we instead looked to ISO 50001.
ISO 50001 takes a much more disciplined approach to energy management, requiring firms to look for constant improvements and savings. This cyclical methodology, neatly summarised as Plan – Do – Check – Act, mirrors the approach we’ve taken for many years in continually developing our products. Furthermore, as the site’s integrated management system was already certified to ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 14001 (Environmental) and OHSAS 18001 (Health and Safety), the implementation process was relatively straight forward
To get the ball rolling we set up a task group which looked in detail at energy consumption across the site; from the manufacturing lines, to the kettle in the cafeteria. This took time but it allowed us to generate a clear baseline for current usage, and to identify areas for improvement. Using the outputs from this review, we then agreed an energy policy with senior management which laid out the aims of the work and the measures being implemented.
Many of the actions within this policy were relatively simple, such as turning off lights and equipment at the end of the day. The key was getting all staff, from the boardroom to the factory floor, to buy-in and commit to upholding them. This was achieved in a number of ways, for example by providing training and posting regular reminders including posters and emails.
The results have been significant. To date, the scheme has already allowed us to attain energy savings in excess of £300,000. The process is ongoing, with the task group constantly monitoring performance and looking for areas for further improvement. As a mark of its success, we’re also currently implementing the scheme at our site in Selby.
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