Certification Europe

How developing your energy management skills can help develop your career

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Courtesy of Courtesy of Certification Europe

Late April saw Ireland host the very first and highly successful “ISO 50001 Ireland” conference. Over 100 delegates from industries such as telecoms, energy, pharmaceutical, food & drink and even construction grouped together to discuss their experiences with ISO 50001 certification in the Aviva stadium on the 24th of April.

Many of the engineers from these business sectors were in attendance due to their strong interest in energy management. Today we take a look at how ISO 50001 Certification can help you with both your professional development and to help develop your position with your employer.

Reducing costs

With growing pressure on businesses to reduce their overheads, energy is seen as one of the “big 3 costs” in many industries - “Pay, Power and Plant” being the alliterated watch words for those looking to control costs.  Without a framework to control these costs they can, and very often do, spiral out of control.

Accountants and senior managers are very aware of the cost of wages and without alternatives salaries have often been the first cost to be cut in industries affected by economic downturn.

With ISO 50001 energy management training recognised as part of Engineers Ireland continual professional development scheme, now could be the time to develop both personally and professionally in the engineering sector.

Making an impact in work

Bringing business-changing ideas to management is something that engineers may have been slow to do in the past, some seeing this as beyond their remit. To progress and gain recognition in your workplace, heading up an energy management solution that will help reduce businesses costs can prove your worth to your employer.

At the recent ISO 50001 Ireland event, hosted by Environment and Energy Magazine,  John O’Sullivan Programme Manager at Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), showed empirical evidence that’s organisations that deployed an ISO 50001 energy management system saved more energy than didn’t – even those that focused on running multiple energy projects.  

SEAI has also previously stated that over €160 Million has been saved from energy bills of Irish businesses every year thanks to ISO 50001 energy management systems. 

Ciaran O’Malley from Certification Europe briefed the attendees at “ISO 50001 Ireland” about the average savings his clients make. Savings of 5% to 37%, depending on the industry and power use levels, are impressive but these figures didn’t come as a shock to any of the Engineers attending the event. It is widely known and accepted that significant energy savings can be made with an ISO 50001 energy management system and payback on the investment in an Energy Management system can take as little as 9 months.

The CO2 saved from Irish Businesses adopting ISO 50001 is estimated to be over 300,000 tonnes per year alone. This can significantly contribute to companies Corporate & Social Responsibility programs and can be a “game changer” for business and as noted by Shireman “a business that aims to reduce its impact on the environment is blessed with more motivated staff” (W. Shireman, 2003. “A Measurement Guide to Productivity: 50 Powerful Tools to Grow Your Triple Bottom Line. Tokyo: Asian Productivity Organization”. )

Training aids your professional progress.  

Engineers are increasingly becoming skilled in energy management, which is a highly valued skill around the world and many in Ireland have developed this skill due to the island’s high energy prices and concomitant drive to reduce energy use.

As I write this article there are almost 10,000 Energy Management positions, with some of the biggest and best employers, advertised around the world on LinkedIn.  Energy Management professionals are prized the world over and their skills travel quite easily from country to country.

Ireland leads the way with ISO 50001 certification and development, punching well above our weight. For such a small country we have a massive number of businesses who are undertaking certification right now.

With ISO 50001 training courses becoming recognised as part of continuous professional development there has never been a better time to help develop these sought after skills and broaden your appeal to current as well as prospective employers.

If you intend to head up an energy management project capable of saving a business millions of euro over the course of its life time then you will need training. This is inescapable. The good news is that if your employer is considering adopting ISO 50001 and you are going to spearhead this they should be prepared to facilitate your attendance at Energy management implementation or Energy Management lead auditor training courses.

Training makes it easy to translate engineering skills into energy management, thus making you more desirable to prospective employers worldwide. A good course should aim to provide you with a thorough understanding of best practice in the subject and be delivered by those who have practical experience of “doing it” as opposed to theorising about it.  

Learning how to prepare, lead and report on the findings of an energy management system audit is also vitally important. Identifying energy and cost saving opportunities can only be done when baselines have been set and energy performance is monitored correctly. 

Gaining first hand insight into best practice in energy management should be every attendee’s main aim. Participating in case studies and workshops will allow you to gain vital learning and it should be another important aspect of any training as it will be vital to help you adapt to your new role.

During a recent ISO 50001 training course with Certification Europe, over 73% of attendees felt that this training course would help them in their own career development. 45% of these course attendees were implementing an energy management system with career development in mind.

These energy management professionals and engineers chose the ISO 50001 energy management standard because“(the) standard encourages a systematic approach to energy reduction which ensures a continuous improvement process”whilst also“giving them an opportunity for career development”.

As one recent engineer attendee stated“I feel that ISO 50001 training has provided me with a skill-set to develop and implement the standard. This will help develop the energy department within the company and develop my career as an energy manager”

If you are in a business or organisation that finds itself facing mounting energy costs or if you are looking to add another string to your professional bow, ISO 50001 training and certification could be for you.

We at Certification Europe are a leading accredited certification body which provides International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) management system certification and inspection services to organisations globally. Certification Europe were the first accredited ISO 50001 auditors in the UK and Ireland and we have over 25 years of auditing and training experience in auditing energy management systems on behalf of our clients. We would very much like to hear from you to help you grow professionally in your position and enable you to make your mark in your organisation. 

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