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Step-by-Step Energy Management for SMEs

Research projects for the development of a systematic procedure for the gradual introduction of SMEs into an energy management system


Energy management systems are a way to reduce operational environmental impacts – in particular, CO2 emissions – while at the same time economic added-value can be generated for the company. However, access to energy management systems in accordance with DIN EN ISO 50001 proves to be more difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because of high demands placed on certification. Thus, a great deal of saving potentials for energy, costs and greenhouse gases lie dormant and unexploited in these companies.

For this reason, there is a need to facilitate the access for SMEs to energy management systems according to DIN EN ISO 50001. This has prompted the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), to develop a systematic procedure for the gradual introduction of SMES into an energy management system within the framework of a research project. Arqum GmbH, together with prisma consult GmbH and “Büro für Umwelt, Qualität und Sicherheit” (Bureau for the Environment, Quality and Safety) were commissioned with the project implementation.

A three-step approach was developed. Step 1 consists of an inventory of basic data using specific checklists. Step 2 consists of the development of energy assessments and action plans. Finally, Step 3 includes the remaining steps for full implementation of ISO 50001.

This approach was tested in practice and evaluated in cooperation with six companies from various industries. Accompanying workshops, webinars and on-site events were held for this purpose.

The findings gained in the course of the project are being currently put together in a guideline, which is to be discussed internationally (in the relevant professional bodies) as an extension of the ISO 50000 standard series.

The potential of this proposed standard is considerable. Currently, there are approximately 2.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany with a final energy demand of over 2000 PJ. There are a total of approximately 9,000 companies (large enterprises and SMEs) throughout Germany that are certified in accordance with ISO 50001.

Your contact at Arqum: Philipp Poferl


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