ISO 50001 Certification : Energy management

Learn how ISO 50001 certification helps optimize energy consumption, reduce costs and carbon emissions. Explore this international certificate, discover its benefits and implementation and engage in an ecological transition with confidence.

What is ISO 50001 certification ?

The ISO 50001 certification officially validates that an organization has developed an energy management system (EMS) that meets the criteria of the international standard ISO 50001. This standard, established in 2011 and updated in 2018, sets out requirements and best practices for organizing, executing, monitoring and continuously improving an organization’s energy efficiency.

Concretely, an EMS includes a series of procedures, tools and responsibilities aimed at controlling and optimizing the use of energy, reducing spending, reducing the carbon footprint and increasing competitiveness. It is based on a continuous improvement process, the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, which includes the development of an energy policy, the definition of objectives and indicators, the conduct of audits, the implementation of efficiency measures, performance evaluation and adjustment of the system to new requirements and possibilities.

This certification is granted by approved entities after verification of the conformity of the EMS with the established standards. The validity of the ISO 50001 certification is three years, provided that the organization maintains its active EMS and conducts annual audits. While this compliance certification is voluntary, it may be required by customers, suppliers, investors or regulatory authorities.

When should you consider ISO 50001 certification ?

ISO 50001 certification is for organizations of all backgrounds looking to boost their energy efficiency: no matter their size, sector, location or ambitions. While not an obligation, there are several factors that may motivate this approach :

  • Reduction of energy costs : a significant economic benefit for the organization.
  • Regulatory compliance : some laws and standards require specific energy efficiency measures, such as audits, energy reports or reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Stand out in the market : this certification allows an organization to stand out, improve its brand image and meet the expectations of its stakeholders, including customers, suppliers and investors.
  • Stimulate innovation and competitiveness : it encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and sustainable practices that benefit the environment.
  • Support the energy transition : by joining this certification, a company is committed to social responsibility and contributes to the fight against global warming.


It is advisable to begin this process with a preliminary energy diagnosis. This provides an overview of the main areas of energy consumption, identifies energy saving opportunities and determines priority actions to be taken.

Why is ISO 50001 certification important for the environment ?

ISO 50001 certification plays a crucial role in protecting the environment, helping organizations or companies to minimize their impact on the climate and safeguard natural resources. As energy consumption is one of the main causes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, responsible for global warming, the consequences can be disastrous for biodiversity, human health, food security and sustainable development.

ISO 50001 certified companies are improving their energy management, contributing to the transition to cleaner and renewable energy sources such as solar, wind or hydro. This is fundamental to limiting global warming to 1.5°C, a target set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, approved by 195 countries.

By optimizing their energy consumption, these organizations not only reduce their greenhouse gas emissions but also preserve valuable energy resources. This is all the more vital as global energy demand continues to rise, driven by population growth, urbanization and economic development. The International Energy Agency projects a 25% increase in global energy demand by 2040, increasing pressure on available resources and exacerbating energy inequality.

Ultimately, investing in ISO 50001 certification is a strategic approach for any organization or company seeking to streamline its energy consumption in line with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What are the criteria for ISO 50001 certification ?

To achieve ISO 50001 certification, an organization must develop and manage an energy management system (EMS) that meets the criteria specified in ISO 50001. Key requirements include :

Energy policy

The organization is required to define and formalize an energy policy that demonstrates its commitment to continuously improve its energy performance, comply with current regulations and contribute to the energy transition. This policy, once approved by company management, must be disseminated to all levels of the organization and subject to regular review.

Energy planning

Effective energy planning is crucial. It should consist of identifying and evaluating energy consumption and current use, identifying the most important energy aspects, identifying opportunities for improvement, setting clear objectives and targets, and to establish an action plan to achieve them.

The implementation and operation

For proper implementation and operation of its EMS, the organization must ensure that it has the necessary resources, clearly define roles and responsibilities, ensure the competence and awareness of its staff, effectively manage information, control its operations in relation to its significant energy aspects, favour the purchase of energy-efficient products and services and maintain open communication with all stakeholders.

Verification and corrective action

It is essential for the organization to monitor and correct its EMS through monitoring and analysis of its energy performance, conducting internal audits, assessing its compliance with legal requirements, the identification and treatment of non-conformities, and the implementation of corrective and preventive actions, while carefully recording the results obtained.

Management review

It is crucial for any organization to periodically conduct a management review of its Environmental Management System (EMS). This regular process ensures the effectiveness, adequacy and relevance of the system in place, while identifying opportunities for continuous improvement.

What are the benefits of ISO 50001 certification for companies ?

The ISO 50001 certification reveals considerable benefits for companies aiming for better energy performance. The main benefits, categorized as :

Economic benefits

ISO 50001 certified companies benefit from significant savings in energy costs, including electricity, gas, fuel and heating. The extent of savings depends on the sector, the size of the company and the type of energy used. An ADEME study indicates that an industrial company can reduce its energy bill by 10% on average thanks to this certification.

Regulatory benefits

Complying with ISO 50001 allows companies to meet various legal and regulatory requirements related to energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. These obligations vary from one country to another but tend to become stricter with the energy transition. In France, for example, companies with more than 250 employees or a turnover of more than 50 million euros must conduct an energy audit every four years, a requirement that does not apply to ISO 50001 certified entities.

Competitive advantages

ISO 50001 certification allows companies to stand out in the market, improving their image and reputation with customers, suppliers, investors, etc. It demonstrates a real commitment to reducing the environmental impact, innovation and performance improvement. This label can be a real asset to conquer new markets, retain customers, attract talent or secure financing.

Which countries recognize ISO 50001 certification ?

Internationally recognized, ISO 50001 certification holds considerable scope, with its widespread application worldwide. According to ISO’s most recent report from 2020, more than 40,000 ISO 50001 certifications have been granted in 169 countries. Among these countries, those with the highest number of ISO 50001 certifications include :

  • Germany, with more than 12,000 certifications, accounts for nearly 30% of the global total.
  • Spain, which follows with over 3,000 certifications, is equivalent to about 8% of the global total.
  • Italy, with over 2,000 certifications, or about 5% of the global total.
  • France, with over 1,500 certifications, represents approximately 4% of the global total.
  • The United Kingdom, with over 1,000 certifications, about 3% of the global total.


This list is supplemented by India, China, Mexico, the United States, Japan, Brazil, Sweden, Turkey, Iran, and Canada, each exceeding 500 ISO 50001 certifications. Interestingly, Europe stands out by concentrating more than 60% of global certifications, followed by Asia, America and Africa with 18%, 13% and 3% respectively of the total.

Recognition and adoption of ISO 50001 certification varies depending on factors such as level of economic development, energy saving opportunities, national energy strategies, financial or regulatory incentives, and stakeholder awareness. The high compatibility of the ISO 50001 certification with other international certifications, such as ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environment) and ILO-OSH 2001 (occupational health and safety), facilitates its integration into existing management systems.

Who can issue an ISO 50001 certification ?

ISO 50001 certification is granted not by ISO itself, which is responsible for the development and publication of international standards, but rather by independent certification bodies. The latter must be accredited by national or regional institutions. Their role is to assess whether an entity’s energy management system (EMS) is in compliance with ISO 50001. This is done through audit and scrutiny.

The path to ISO 50001 certification includes several key steps :

  • Select a recognised certification body with specific expertise in the energy sector.
  • Submit an application for certification, accompanied by a description of the organization, its EMS, and its energy policies and objectives.
  • Go through an initial audit in two stages : the first phase is dedicated to the review of EMS documents to ensure their compliance with the ISO 50001 standard. The second phase includes a visit to the organisation’s premises to assess the implementation and effectiveness of the EMS.
  • Receive a decision on certification by the certification body, based on the audit report and after taking into account any corrective measures taken by the organisation.
  • Obtain the certificate proving the implementation of an EMS compliant with ISO 50001. This certificate is valid for three years, provided that the organisation continues to apply the EMS and undergoes annual monitoring audits.
  • Renew the certificate at the end of the three-year period, following a new comprehensive EMS audit.


Aiming for ISO 50001 certification is a voluntary process. However, depending on the country or region, this approach can be stimulated by financial advantages, tax breaks or regulatory facilities.

La procédure classique

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Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

2

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

3

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