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16 Aug 2023

What is Baseline 50001

ISO Baseline Ltd Stand: A57
What is Baseline 50001
What is Baseline 50001
Energy Management for the 21st Century

Having developed the Baseline 50001 energy management software and given that it is so different to anything else that is out there on the market I am often asked to describe the system and explain “what type of system it is”.  Is it a Building Management System, (BMS)/ Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) / Computer Aided Facility Management system (CAFM)/Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS)/Integrated Workplace Management System/ Monitoring & Targeting (M&T) system or what is it. 

In reality the Baseline 50001 software is something that does not compete directly with any of the above but complements what these systems do and ensures that what these systems do is correctly approached and completed - but taking energy performance into account. 

Firstly, lets clearly explain what ISO 50001 is.  This is an international standard, developed by hundreds of international energy experts that have put our heads together in a collaborative manner to agree a set of requirements that an organisation must meet to allow them to be able to say conclusively that their organisation manages its energy in a way that delivers energy performance improvement.  The existence of the Energy Management Standard then allows organisations put themselves forward for external assessment and then certification the ISO 50001 standard that allows them as an organisation to demonstrate their energy credentials. 

Obviously as Energy Management is such a broad topic, it cuts across pretty much all of the areas that the above systems are designed for.  You cannot claim to manage energy properly if you don’t manage your buildings and facilities properly, if you don’t control your equipment correctly, if you don’t properly manage and maintain your assets and if your processes within your organisation take energy into account. 

Having said all that when the organisation goes forward for Certification before an accredited certification body, it is not simply a case of telling the auditor that you manage energy correctly, you need to provide evidence to substantiate this fact.  This is the case for any management system certification and leads to the organisation needing to develop its own “management system approach” to being able to provide this evidence for the auditor.  

Within organisations there is a “spectrum” of management systems approaches that can be taken to meet this requirement.  On one end of the spectrum is a heavily documented management system, where there is a form, a template and an SOP for everything.  This type of management system tends to be “documentation heavy”, where you feel you are working for the system, as opposed to the system working for you.  Although this approach can take up quite an amount of time doing paperwork, it has the advantage that when the audit comes around, if you have been adhering to the requirements of the system, then you will have plenty of evidence that you meet the requirements of the standard.  It is of course possible to integrate the requirements of the standard into the various systems of the organisation, such as IWMS, CMMS and M&T, but the reality is that it cuts across the requirements of all of the different systems and needs to be carefully thought through and implemented on each system, which rarely happens because of the multiplicity of people and skills that are required to make this happen.  On the other end of the spectrum of energy management systems is the “documentation lite approach”.  In this approach, the focus is on doing what is required to improve energy performance. Doing, nor writing or talking about doing.  The benefit of this approach is quite often improved energy performance, but the downside is that quite often when the audit comes around the organisation is not in a position to demonstrate that it meets the requirements of the energy management standard. 

So, what about Baseline 50001.  This is a software tool that has been developed purely around the requirements of an energy manager. 

Developed by ISO Baseline, Baseline 50001 provides the tools and processes that an energy manager requires to manage energy.   

 

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