What’s the difference between the ISO 2011 and 2018 versions of ISO 50001?


What’s the difference between the ISO 2011 and 2018 versions of ISO 50001?

ISO 50001:2018 is based on Annex SL – the new ISO high level structure (HLS) that brings a common framework to all management systems, i.e. it applies a common language across all standards.

This helps to keep consistency, supports alignment of different management system standards, e.g. ISO9001, ISO14001, etc. With the new standard in place, organisations will find it easier to incorporate their energy management system into core business processes and get more involvement from top management.

The main change organisations who hold ISO50001:2011 will see are the requirements in clause 4.


Clause 4 relates to the context of the organisation and requires organisations to consider their relevant internal and external issues and consider the needs and expectations of interested parties who could be affected by the management system.

When establishing the scope and boundaries of certification, it is now made explicit that organisations cannot exclude any energy type at this stage.


Clause 5 relates to Leadership. The requirement for a management representative has been removed and requirements for leadership have been enhanced. This helps to ensure that energy is considered by top management and becomes a strategic issue for the organisation.


Clause 6 relates to planning. This is undertaken at a strategic and tactical level via determining actions to address risks and opportunities identified and via the undertaking of an energy review which leads to the development of objectives, action plans, Energy performance indicators (EnPI’s) and energy baselines (EnB’s) The final part of clause 6 requires us to establish a energy data collection plan.


Clause 7 relates to support and brings together the requirements to provide resources, define competencies, deliver awareness, communication and documented information as deemed necessary to ensure the EnMS is effective.


Clause 8 relates to operation, this consolidates design, procurement and operational controls relating to the facilities and equipment defined in the scope and boundaries of certification. This extends to the procurement of energy which can increasingly include a mix of energy from renewable sources.


Clause 9 relates to performance evaluation. This requires us to implement the energy data collection plan from clause 6 and undertake the actions necessary to monitor and measure, conduct internal audits and undertake management review. We recommend taking time to review and update your management review process in line with clause 9.3 of the 2018 revision.


Clause 10 relates to improvement. The term preventive action has been removed from the standard, however via determining issues (4.1) interested parties needs and expectations and legal requirements (4.2) and via taking actions to address risks and opportunities (6.1) organisations can demonstrate continual improvement in energy performance.

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