ISO 50001 & ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems


What is ISO 50001?

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is responsible for developing internationally recognised codes of best practice for operational processes across every industry.

ISO 50001 is an Environmental Management System (EMS or EnMS) that provides a structured framework for organisations of any size to follow to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, improve operational efficiency, and cut overheads. ISO 50001 is modelled after the more general ISO 9001, or Quality Management System (QMS). All EMS are comprised of the policies, processes, practices, and plans that govern and record how an organisation interacts with the environment.

ISO 50001 equips organisations with streamlined energy consumption auditing protocols to better monitor their carbon dioxide (CO2) output, thereby minimising risk and maximising resilience. Resource efficiency optimisation and the adoption of more carbon neutral practices empowers a business to better maintain its competitive edge while remaining compliant with climate change policies.

There are a variety of other EMS solutions for businesses seeking to improve their green credentials, such as ISO 14001, ISO 14005, and the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).

What are the key differences between ISO 50001 and ISO 14001?

ISO 50001 evaluates how an organisation consumes energy to improve efficiency (i.e. OPEX), whereas ISO 14001 examines the impact of overall resource use, waste management, and pollutants. In other words, ISO 50001 establishes Energy Performance Indicators (EnPIs), and ISO 14001 assesses their impact on the atmosphere.

ISO 50001 accreditation is one of the most effective ways of proving compliance with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), particularly for large organisations in energy-intensive industries (EII). If you qualify, you may be eligible for an exemption of up to 85% of your Contracts for Difference (CfD) and Renewables Obligation (RO) charges, while ESOS compliance may secure exemptions of up to 90%.

What are the benefits of ISO accreditation?

  • Provides a structured, systematic approach to optimise energy efficiency, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and produce less waste.
  • Proof of compliance with climate change policies, such as ESOS and SECR, for a potential exemption of up to 90% of charges.
  • Helps identify more opportunities to receive discounts on energy overheads and taxes, such as the Climate Change Levy (CCL).
  • Demonstrates commitment to meeting Net Zero obligations, enhances corporate social responsibility, and can attract new stakeholders and customers. 
  • Potential exemption of up to 85% of Contracts for Difference (CfDs) and Renewables Obligation (RO) charges for businesses in the manufacturing and engineering sectors. 


Who needs to comply?

ISO 50001 accreditation isn’t mandatory, but it's a worthwhile step toward ensuring ESOS and SECR compliance. Unlike ESOS and SECR, ISO 50001 and ISO 14001 certification can be obtained by companies of any size.

As the ESOS Phase 3 submission deadline (December 5th, 2023) approaches, there’s never been a better time to reach out for climate change compliance support.


How can we help?

Nationwide Utilities was the first energy consultancy in the UK to proudly receive ISO 50001 accreditation. As such, we’re particularly confident in our ability to help your business become accredited, too. Our team of business energy consultants fast-track the process to reduce your energy expenditures and greenhouse gas emissions.

Following a thorough evaluation of your business' energy consumption, we can quickly identify the best ways optimise energy efficiency, reduce utility bills, and ensure compliance with any of the latest climate change regulations.

Get in touch with our team of energy procurement and management specialists today to learn more about the ISO application process and how certification can benefit your business.