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Energy Management can be a tricky topic to approach depending on your industry. There are a lot of factors that need to be considered to ensure that you are accurately monitoring and measuring your energy consumption.

Thankfully ISO 50001, the Standard for Energy Management, does provide a lot of useful guidance to help you get started. As a reminder, ISO 50001 can help your business to continually improve its energy performance, energy efficiency, energy use and energy consumption. Building an energy management system (EMS) based on the requirements of ISO 50001 will ultimately help you to understand, monitor and measure your use of energy.

However, even with the guidance, we often see a few common mistakes companies make while managing their EMS. Today Darren Morrow, Senior Isologist here at Blackmores, joins us to share his top 5 mistakes to avoid while managing an EMS.

You’ll learn

  • What is ISO 50001?
  • 5 mistakes to avoid while managing an Energy Management System
  • How can you avoid these mistakes?  


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:30] What is ISO 50001? ISO 50001 is all about continually improving energy performance, energy efficiency, energy use and energy consumption. By Implementing an energy management system, you will be able to fully understand and monitor and measure your use of energy. Like most other ISO’s, continual improvement is at the heart of ISO 50001, and It’s also based on the Annex SL format. So, it shares some similarities with Standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. If you’ve got ISO 14001, you’re already half-way there!

[01:14] We have a more detailed walkthrough of ISO 50001 Implementation available in our steps to success podcast series, which are episodes: 84, 85 and 88

[02:00] Mistake 1 – Lack of commitment from top management: This can be one of the biggest issues and can cause the most damage in relation to any management system.

A lack of support from top management often leads to:-

  • A loss of motivation for improvement
  • A lack of financial support and resources – The EMS should be considered in budgets so you can account for any additional maintenance that needs to be done to ensure equipment is running optimally, or possibly investing in newer technology that is designed to be more efficient.
  • Lack of alignment of the EMS and organisational goals and objectives – Everyone in the business should be aware of the organisation’s goals, if energy management is included as part of those goals, then they are more likely to be fulfilled.

Having a commitment from top management ensures that EMS is part of the business and not just a bolt on.  

[03:25] Mistake 2 – Built by one person or department: If one person is deemed ultimately responsible, even if supported by top management, overall commitment throughout the business can be difficult, sometimes with comments such as ‘that’s Bob’s job’.

With one person or department, there can be the lack of authority to make decisions, and inevitably they can become siloed from the rest of the business – not hearing about improvement opportunities, not being involved in internal projects, etc.

Ensure that, even in a smaller businesses where one person may form the ‘Energy Team’,  that everyone is able to contribute.

[04:20] Mistake 3 – Rushed Implementation of the Energy Management System: This can lead to confusion as to who is responsible and what responsibilities are shared. It can also lead to failures to record opportunities for improvement, or for monitoring and managing any deviations in energy consumption that may occur and require investigation.

There is also the risk of a lack of awareness amongst staff if you’ve not taken the time to communicate roles and responsibilities in relation to the EMS.

[05:30] Mistake 4 – Manual controls that can be overridden by staff:  A lot of what you monitor and measure may be automated, but there will always be elements where there is a potential for human error. So ideally, where possible during energy reviews or audits, consider those elements that humans have direct impact for the control and influence of energy.

Typical examples include:

  • Heating and cooling – Problems and excessive energy use can be caused through individuals changing temperatures resulting in equipment working harder and on many occasions working against each other.
  • Lighting – Many companies now have sensor controlled lighting, this ensures lights are only switched on when required. Manual lighting controls typically have resulted in lights being switched on and left on in rooms that are not occupied, example being meeting rooms.

[06:50] Mistake 5 – Data collection and monitoring: Data collection is crucial in supporting decision making and also to be able to demonstrate improvement. Common pitfalls in this category include:

  • Lack of attention to monitoring and measurement results / trends – there is a likelihood that data will not be collected properly, recorded incorrectly, resulting in data that is only used to populate a spreadsheet or software based database, and does not provide any valuable information.

Results may not be analyzed at appropriate times to identify any trends or issues / deviations that may arise, potentially leading to inefficiencies in equipment operations, and ultimately increased costs

  • Poor data collection and record keeping and general housekeeping – Data if not collected periodically, covering determined periods, will result in being unable to compare consumption on a like-for-like basis. This means you will only be recording usage, with significantly reduced means to identify opportunities for improvement and / or causes for deviations.
  • Relying on energy bills (estimated and not reading meters) – This should be a last resort for data collection. This will not provide accurate information to base decisions on, inevitably bills will show an estimated consumption and cost, followed by a ‘reading’ sometime during the year, resulting in an amendment or adjustment being made – primarily cost.

This has a significant impact the data collected, along with any possibility of accurately identifying improvements and / or deviations that could impact the business

[09:40] We’re offering a Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer on isologyhub memberships until the 31st October 2023! Contact us to book a demo.

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The aim of this episode is to have a clear plan for your ISO System for Success – from choosing the ISO Standard, to branding and establishing a place where everyone can access the system – so that you can move onto creating your ISO System.

You’ll learn about:

  • Setting your expectations
  • Deciding which ISO standard(s) and scope
  • Getting leadership buy-in
  • Resourcing
  • Choosing a certification body
  • Creating a Project Plan
  • Deciding on branding of your ISO system
  • Establishing a ‘home’ for your system
  • Creating a Communications Plan
  • Identifying your current level of compliance
  1. Set your expectations
  2. Clarify why you want to achieve an ISO certification
  3. Identify what you’ve already got in place
  4. Decide on your goals for the set time
  5. Shortlist which ISO Standard (s) to implement
  6. Decide whether ISO Certification is the right choice
  • Decide which ISO Standard(s) and scope
  • Research your standards options
  • Identify what your stakeholders are seeking reassurance for
  • Brainstorm where your operational weaknesses are
  • Where do you need to raise standards within your business?
  • What would be beneficial from a Sales and Marketing perspective?
  • Establish the scope of your system
  • Decide what your scope of certification will be
  • Get leadership buy-in
  • Validate your ISO initiative
  • Present the benefits and ROI
  • Establish timescales and resources
  • Resourcing
  • Establish project sponsor
  • Establish a project lead
  • Establish your ISO Champions
  • Consider getting assistance i.e., at
  • Choosing a Certification body
  • Get quotes from an accredited Certification body
  • Review the costs of certification over the 3 years your certificate is valid.
  • Check if the Certification body has experience in your sector for the standard you are interested in.
  • Create a Project Plan
  • Establish roles, responsibilities, accountabilities
  • Establish Project milestones
  • Decide on timescales for project milestones
  • Identify key dependencies
  • Decide on the branding of your ISO system
  • Decide how you want to position your system within the company
  • Choose a name for your system
  • Choose your system branding
  • Establish a ‘home’ for your system
  • Where will your system live?
  • Identify how employees will access the system
  • Decide if the system is to be integrated with other systems
  • Determine how you would like employees to get the most from the system
  • Create a Communications Plan
  • Establish what you are going to communicate, when, how, and with whom
  • Brainstorm ideas for your Launch
  • Start to consider the communication of your success once your company has achieved certification.
  1. Identify your current level of compliance
  2. Purchase a copy of the ISO Standard
  3. Review your company policies and procedures against the requirements of the standard
  4. Create an Action Plan with responsibilities and timelines for the completion of tasks.

Hopefully, that’s helped understand what’s involved at the planning stage of introducing an EMS.

If you would like any help implementing ISO 14001, then make sure to sign up to the isology hub waitlist! This is going to be a game-changer in the ISO standards field, which is why we won the support of the UK government through their sustainable innovation grant. All the resources that you need on ISO 14001 will be available on So, click on the link to join the waitlist to be notified of when you can get access to our online membership portal. It is the go-to place for all things ISO. We’ve got video tutorials, check sheets, quick wins, eLearning courses, and just about everything you need to create, launch and build your ISO system for success.

Don’t forget to download your FREE ISO standards blueprint hereto get your EMS kick started!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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 An exciting announcement about a game-changer in the world of ISO standards was made in the last episode….which was about the isology hub!

What you’ll learn:

  • What is the isology hub?
  • What is an EMS?
  • what is inside an EMS?
  • Which documents must you include?
  • Examples of Documented Information include
  • What can an EMS help with?

Let’s have a little reminder…

What is the isology hub?

It’s a Netflix version of unlimited ISO standards support, which includes videos, checklists, sample policies, templates, plus many other things such as eLearning courses! You’ll get access to binge-worthy content to help you raise your game and take your business to the next level.

So, what is it that makes the isology hub such a game-changer you ask?

Well, it’s a game-changer because it provides a DIY (do it yourself) solution to implementing an ISO standard. Our inaugural ISO Roadmap is for an Environmental Management System (EMS). So, in effect, it’s a roadmap for you to implement an ISO 14001 EMS.

Over the next few episodes, I’m going to be sharing with you some of the topics that we cover in the isology hub in terms of ISO 14001. We have an ISO 14001 roadmap, and we kick off by explaining what an EMS is, and we feature step by step, specific actions that you can take to make your business more sustainable and take it to the next level!

But before I kick off with explaining what an EMS is in this episode, I’d just like to announce that we have an awesome ebook guide for your ISO project.

And it’s free of charge!

It’s called the ISO Standards Blueprint simply go to to download it for free. The great thing about it is that it’s a guide for any ISO standard. So that’s why the ISO Standards Blueprint is a blueprint for implementing any ISO standard.

Now, let’s dive into explaining what an EMS actually is…

What is an EMS?

  • An EMS is a blueprint for how you run your business sustainably and be kinder to the planet.
  • It provides a framework (a home) for your policies and procedures
  • Helps you to identify and reduce its impact on the environment.
  • A system to optimise your resources to be as efficient as possible
  • Leads to reduced operational costs, and therefore increase in bottom-line profitability.

So…what is actually inside an EMS?

  • Policies
  • Procedures
  • Documents
  • Records

Which documents must you include?

  • Where the standards say ‘SHALL’ you must obey….
  • Scope and boundaries of the EMS (4.3)
  • Environmental Policy (5.2)
  • Environmental Aspects and Impacts (6.1.2)
  • Compliance obligations (6.1.3)
  • Environmental Objectives (6.2)


  • Documented information determined by your organisation as being necessary for the effectiveness of the Environmental management system.

Examples of Documented Information include:

  • Aspects and Impacts Register  – captures your environmental footprint
  • Roles and responsibilities – Who does what
  • Operational procedures – How things are done
  • Core ISO System procedures – document control, communication, Management Review, Internal audit – these all help you keep on top of the management of your business.
  • Environmental legal register
  • Risk Register
  • Environmental objectives/KPI’s
  • Environmental Policy
  • Metrics to monitor and measure  – what do you need to monitor and measure that will help shift the needle in the direction you want to go.
  • Meeting minutes
  • Samples / Supplier records

In Summary…What can an EMS help with?

  • Assign roles and responsibilities, and see exactly where there are bottlenecks,
  • Ensure value-adding monitoring, measurement, and analysis of data, that in turn will assist the business to make better-informed business decisions,
  • Identifies all the statutory and regulatory requirements – and helps keeps your business compliant and avoid reputational damage and fines.
  • Understand where corrective action needs to be taken, and how this can be potentially avoided in future

Hopefully, that’s given you a snapshot of what an EMS is!

We go into this in a lot more detail in the isology which is where you’ll find everything you need to implement an EMS and achieve certification to ISO 14001

So, don’t forget to download your FREE ISO Standards Blueprint over at

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube |iTunes | Soundcloud

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