Task 5: We have an energy policy statement, which has been approved by top management and communicated across the organization.
Detailed Guidance: Energy Policy
Getting It Done
- Draft your energy policy statement.
- Have top management approve the energy policy.
- Incorporate the energy policy into your energy management system (EnMS) awareness program (see Task 15 Awareness and Communication).
The energy policy is top management’s statement of its intentions with respect to your organization’s energy performance. The commitments stated in the policy set the direction for energy management activities and provide the framework for using objectives and energy targets to achieve energy performance improvements. The energy policy should be documented and communicated to personnel across all levels of the organization and be available to interested parties.
This guidance is relevant to sections 5.1 b) and 5.2 in the ISO 50001:2018 standard.
The energy policy must state top management’s commitments to the following:
- Continual improvement in energy performance
- Continual improvement of the energy management system (EnMS)
- Ensuring that the information and resources needed to meet objectives and energy targets are available
- Complying with applicable legal requirements and other energy-related requirements relevant to your organization
In addition, the energy policy must support:
- purchasing of energy-efficient products and services that impact energy performance.
- consideration of energy performance improvement in design activities.
The policy may be only a few sentences, or it may be several paragraphs long. Simpler and shorter is typically better, but it needs to include the commitments listed above and be appropriate to the nature of your organization.
Sometimes top management or the energy management team will incorporate additional commitments into the energy policy (e.g., sustainability, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, ENERGY STAR®) that are not required by ISO 50001. This is acceptable; however, remember that what is stated in the policy must be demonstrated. In other words, if you say it then you must do it.
Typically, the energy team prepares an initial draft of the energy policy for top management’s consideration and approval. The Playbook worksheet can help your team draft the energy policy. If your organization already has an energy policy, that can serve as a starting point. Conduct a review to see if the existing policy includes the items listed above.
As a statement of your organization’s intentions, top management must take “ownership” of the energy policy. This includes ensuring that the energy policy is aligned with the strategic direction of the organization. It should support the long-term goals of your organization. Evidence of top management’s approval of the energy policy can take a variety of forms, from a simple signature and date to a recorded meeting decision.
Typically, the energy policy is incorporated into internal EnMS-related communications and EnMS awareness training activities. Also, it can be posted on communication boards or otherwise displayed where it is easily visible. The energy policy also must be available to interested parties, as appropriate.
The energy policy should be reviewed regularly and updated as needed. This is accomplished through the management review process (see Task 23 Management Review).
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