Schneider Electric has become one of the few in the industry to receive accredited certification as complying with the new ISO 50001 standard for energy management systems across 15 of its largest UK sites. The accolade was presented to Stuart Thorogood, Schneider Electric’s UK country president and Mark Jones, sustainability manager, by the chief executive of the AFNOR group, Olivier Peyrat, at the AFNOR headquarters in Paris.
The company believes the accredited certification recognises its commitment to continuously improving the energy efficiency of its sites, reducing their environmental footprint and enhancing user comfort.
The programme to achieving ISO 50001 involved carrying out energy audits at each site to firstly identify where there were opportunities to reduce energy usage. This was followed by numerous site based energy efficiency improvement projects whereby the company upgraded key equipment such as lighting supported with intelligent lighting control, modified its Building Management Systems to enhance their effectiveness, and replaced compressors and boilers. To ensure there is continual improvement in energy efficiency, the company developed and implemented its Energy Management System, which outlines procedures and processes to keep savings on track.
In addition, Schneider Electric engaged staff to become more energy conscious through energy days, competitions and ongoing updates as well as deploying Energy Champions at each of its sites to measure consumption, raise awareness and implement improvement projects. As a way of heightening the staff’s energy awareness, Schneider Electric encouraged them to undertake courses on its Energy University e-learning programme.
The investment in such practices has meant the company’s commitment to energy efficiency has been recognised with the ISO 50001 accreditation while helping Schneider Electric to achieve year on year improvements and reductions in energy usage – from 2011 to 2012 the company saved six per cent in energy consumption. This equates to around £90,000 in cost savings.
The UK certification follows a world first. In June 2011, Schneider Electric’s head office in France (known as Le Hive) was the first building in the world to be certified as complying with the new ISO 50001 standard.
“This certification recognizes our commitment to energy efficiency and our expertise in this field,” says Mark Jones, Sustainability Manager from Schneider Electric. “More than ever, we are aiming for the highest standards in energy management for both our customers’ sites and our own. The systems which we use to monitor and manage our energy usage provide valuable feedback that we can leverage to develop efficient, operational energy performance solutions. This not only helps us to manage our energy bill but also demonstrates to our customers that we’re practising what we preach.”
The ISO 50001 standard defines the requirements for the development, implementation, maintenance and improvement of energy management systems. It is designed to help organisations to continuously improve the energy performance of commercial and industrial buildings, optimize their use and reduce their operating costs.