The request to ISO to develop an international energy management standard came from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) which had recognized industry’s need to mount an effective response to climate change and to the proliferation of national energy management standards.
ISO, in turn, had identified energy management as one of the top five fields for the development of International Standards and, in 2008, created a project committee, ISO/PC 242, Energy management, to carry out the work. ISO/PC 242 was led by ISO members for the United States (American National Standards Institute – ANSI) and Brazil (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas – ABNT).
Experts from the national standards bodies of 44 ISO member countries participated within ISO/PC 242 in the development of ISO 50001, with another 14 countries as observers. The standard also benefited from the participation of development organizations including UNIDO and the World Energy Council (WEC).
ISO 50001 has been able to draw on numerous national or regional energy management standards, specifications and regulations, including ones developed in China, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Sweden, Thailand, the USA and the European Union.
ISO 50001 will establish a framework for industrial plants; commercial, institutional, and governmental facilities; and entire organizations to manage energy. Targeting broad applicability across national economic sectors, it is estimated that the standard could influence up to 60 % of the world’s energy use.