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All Pumped Up

Early ISO 50001 adopters report major gains through energy management standard

Published: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 13:12

Evidence that publication of ISO 50001 was eagerly awaited is borne out by the number of organizations worldwide claiming to be the first in their country or sector to have adopted the new ISO international standard on energy management. What’s more, several are already reporting significant benefits and energy cost savings from their early ISO 50001 implementation.

It has been estimated that ISO 50001—“Energy management systems—Requirements with guidance for use” could have a positive impact on some 60 percent of the world’s energy use by providing public and private-sector organizations with management strategies to increase energy efficiency, reduce costs, and improve energy performance.

Early adopters, early gains

This article summarizes reports from five organizations that adopted ISO 50001 soon after its release in June 2011. The organizations are: power and thermal management solutions enterprise Delta Electronics in China, global energy management specialist Schneider Electric of France, the Dahanu Thermal Power Station in India, LCD TV maker AU Optronics Corp of Taiwan, Province of China, and the Austrian municipality of Bad Eisenkappel.

They report numerous early gains from implementing ISO 50001, including significant reductions in power consumption, carbon emissions, and energy costs, as well as benefits to manufacturing plants, communities, and the environment.

Delta Electronics—China

Delta Electronics, a leading provider of power and thermal management solutions, has confirmed that its Dongguan factory in China has achieved ISO 50001 certification. The energy management standard is fundamental to the company’s five-year energy-saving goal of reducing power consumption by 50 percent in 2014, compared with 2009.

Confident of 50-percent reduction

“With the implementation of the ISO 50001 energy management system in the Dongguan region, and production capacity at an even level from January to May of this year, we have already reduced power consumption by 10.51 million kWh as compared to the same period in 2010,” says Rock Huang, general manager of Delta’s Dongguan factory. “This is equivalent to a reduction of 10.2 thousand tons of carbon emissions and a saving of CNY 8 million.

“Power consumption was also reduced by 37 percent as compared to the 74.3 thousand kWh/million USD production value in 2009. We are confident that our goal of 50-percent reduction in 2014 is just around the corner,” he adds.

Daryl Liao, executive vice president of Delta Group’s China region, comments: “The Delta Dongguan factory is delighted about passing the evaluation for the ISO 50001 energy management system. This recognizes Delta’s long-term dedication to eco-friendliness and energy saving. In the future, Delta Electronics will promote Dongguan’s successful factory experience to factories around the world as part of our corporate social responsibility.”

With headquarters in Taiwan, the Delta Group also operates manufacturing plants in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Japan, and Mexico. In addition to power and thermal management components, the company produces visual displays, industrial automation, networking products, and renewable energy solutions.

Delta Electronics’ ISO 50001-certified Dongguan factory in China produces electronic power components and adaptors.


 Schneider Electric—France

Global energy management specialist, Schneider Electric, has been awarded ISO 50001 certification for its Paris, France, head office as part of the company’s commitment to continuously improving the energy management of its buildings, reducing its environmental footprint, and enhancing user comfort.

Known as the Hive (Hall of Innovation and Energy Showcase), the 35,000 square meter building accommodates more than 1,800 employees in Rueil-Malmaison, in the suburbs of Paris.

The company was initially certified to the EN 16001 energy management system standard and commenced adaptation and implementation of its system to ISO 50001 in November 2010, achieving certification in May 2011.

Framework to “do the best”

ISO Focus+ asked Gilles Simon, environment manager for Schneider Electric France, to comment on how ISO 50001 implementation helps his company.

“The ISO 50001 standard provides a framework and a toolbox to ‘do the best’ with energy in a continual improvement cycle,” Simon says. “Many of our facilities around the world are already involved in energy-efficiency action plans. The standard helps a building, such as the Hive, to manage the widest field of energy efficiency in a more accurate way.

“That framework, already established by EN 16001 certification, leads us to define our energy management mission more precisely. It also helps us to involve our purchase teams in applying energy efficiency as a criterion in the selection of suppliers, forces us to clarify the benefit of each independent energy action in the building, and puts us into a continual improvement loop, checked every year by a third party.”

Easily adapted and integrated

ISO Focus+ also asked Simon about the benefits of ISO 50001 to Schneider internationally and as a leader in energy efficiency.

“It is an international standard, so it can be implemented in all our facilities and our customer’s facilities around the world,” explains Simon. “Since it is very close to EN 16001, the energy management systems at our Paris and Grenoble locations were easily adaptable to ISO 50001. It can also be easily integrated with other ISO standards such as ISO 14001. About 90 percent of our facilities worldwide are ISO 14001-certified.

“It also enforces our leader position in energy management,” he adds. “The certification, and its maintenance in years to come, demonstrates our involvement and our walk-the-talk policy. The standard will be promoted to our customers, as it is fully in line with our energy solutions, including diagnosis, instrumentation, and monitoring.”

At the Hive, Schneider Electric’s ISO 50001-certified Paris head office, electric vehicles for business use by employees are charged via a photovoltaic roof above the charging station. 


AU Optronics—Taiwan, Province of China

AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), described as the second-largest LCD TV panel maker in Taiwan, announced that its 8.5G TFT-LCD fabrication plant in the Central Taiwan Science Park has been successfully certified in conformity with ISO 50001. The company’s TV module plant in Suzhou, China, has also implemented the new energy management standard.

Shr-Kai Lin, AUO’s vice president of global manufacturing, comments: “It is our great honor that AUO’s 8.5G fab plant in the Central Taiwan Science Park has obtained ISO 50001 certification. Energy management system certification has been gaining considerable attention from countries around the world. ISO 50001 will become the next global highlight following ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Receiving the verification will become a prerequisite for a company’s international competitiveness.”

Saving energy, reducing emissions

ISO 50001 implementation is expected to help AUO achieve 10-percent energy conservation at the plant this year, save an estimated 55 million kWh of electricity, and reduce carbon emissions by 35,000 tons. The company now plans to adopt an ISO 50001-based energy management system at all its manufacturing plants.

Municipality of Bad Eisenkappel—Austria

Climate change, growing energy consumption in municipality buildings and plants, increasing energy prices, over-dependence on fossil fuels, and unused regional energy sources were the drivers that compelled Bad Eisenkappel, Austria’s most southern municipality, to implement ISO 50001.

According to Franz Josef Smrtnik, mayor of the 2,400-inhabitant community, adopting an energy management system was important because “continuous energy savings make budgets available for other important issues, and local energy resources create added value in the region.”

A structured approach

“We wanted to have a structured approach with long-term effects, and did not want to focus on small, individual projects only,” explains Ferdinand Bevc, energy manager of Bad Eisenkappel. He became convinced of the value of ISO 50001 to a municipality following a presentation of the framework and advantages of the international standard by Rainer Stifter, an international energy expert.

The implementation and certification process was also supported by the desire of the local council and all six political parties to eliminate fossil fuels and achieve sustainable development.

Cost and energy savings

Although the ISO 50001 certification project only started in November 2010, early results “clearly show that the head official took the right decision to launch this initiative.”

During the first year, consumption of electrical energy is expected to decrease by nearly 25 percent, with the main savings achieved by updating the wastewater plant and reducing energy consumption by 86,000 kWh, equivalent to EUR 16,000. Street lights will be converted to LED bulbs in combination with movement sensors and PV-modules, all of which are estimated to save a further 45,000 kWh. In addition, LED bulbs have been installed in public buildings and local schools, aerators fitted to taps, and improvements made to municipal ventilation systems and the warm water supply.

Potential savings have also been identified during thermal imaging of buildings and from the planned installation of thermal solar collectors.

From industry to municipality

“In Bad Eisenkappel it was possible to transfer the successful concept, already used by industry, to a rural municipality,” says Stifter, although he emphasizes that the achievement was only possible with the active support of all council employees, schoolmasters, and an energy-aware community. “Bad Eisenkappel is a real showcase.”

“This project clearly shows the results that can be achieved by motivated employees,” adds Smrtnik. “But much more important is the joie de vivre because of commonly achieved actions and a clean energy supply. A plant for pellet production as well as small hydropower plants will help to supply all buildings with renewable energy in the future. In addition, the first car-charging station was opened recently. ”

ISO 50001-certified Bad Eisenkappel, Austria’s most southerly municipality. 


Dahanu Power Station—India

Dahanu Thermal Power Station in Maharashtra, India, operated by Reliance Infrastructure Ltd., the country’s largest private-sector power utility enterprise, was successfully certified in conformity with ISO 50001 in January 2011. The 2x 250 MW coal-fired power station, located some 120 km from Mumbai, has been in operation since 1996 and is described as Reliance’s landmark facility in terms of energy conservation. It is also certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Remarkable achievements

Among early benefits from implementing the new energy management system standard, Rajendra Nandi, head of Dahanu Thermal Power Station, cites what he calls a number of “remarkable achievements,” including a complete review of the consumption of all major equipment, auxiliaries, and buildings; improvement in the monitoring of total energy consumption; the establishment of energy use and consumption limits for the most significant energy uses; and the implementation of deviation control by operations and maintenance personnel.

In addition to these operational improvements, the plant has conducted a series of targeted investments since March 2010, which, aided by the organization’s new ISO 50001-based energy management system, are expected to yield annual savings of about INR 96.4 million from raised energy efficiency and management.

Latest ISO 50001 adopters

ISO 50001 adoption is gathering pace around the world. Among the most recent organizations to implement and certify to the new energy management standard are:
• Dainippon Screen MFG. Co. Ltd., Rakusai Laboratory, Japan
• Porsche main plant and central spare parts warehouse, Stuttgart, Germany
• Samsung Electronics (Gumi), South Korea
• Sunhope Photoelectricity Co., Taiwan, Province of China

Also, the Meeting, Incentive, Convention, and Exhibition (MICE) Bureau, set up to promote Thailand as a green meeting hub in Asia, will encourage Thai MICE operators to seek ISO 50001 certification, by subsidizing 70 percent of the THB 400,000 consultancy fee.

Impact Arena is the first MICE venue in Asia to achieve ISO 50001 certification, while two venues—The Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre and The Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre—are in the process of obtaining certification. The bureau will also encourage hotels, professional convention organizers, and destination management companies to apply for ISO 50001 certification to strengthen their international competitiveness, and attract business from Europe and the United States.

Article by Garry Lambert, a British freelance journalist based in Switzerland.
This article first appeared on the ISO website and the October 2011 issue ISO Focus+ magazine and is reprinted with the kind permission of ISO Central Secretariat.


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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 162 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system. ISO is a nongovernmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society. View the ISO Standards list.