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Wednesday, 28 August 2013 00:00

South Africa’s first SANS/ISO 50001 lead auditors graduate

International energy management standard certification could reduce industry energy consumption

South Africa’s first SANS/ISO 50001 lead auditors graduate

South Africa now has the capacity to support industry to become energy efficient at the highest possible standard. That is because the first South African professionals qualified to lead an audit team to certify a company as ISO 50001 compliant will receive their graduation certificates today.

The 31 graduates have completed training by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) through the Industrial Energy Efficiency Project (IEE Project), currently jointly implemented by the two organisations.

ISO 50001** was adopted by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) as SANS/ISO 50001 in 2011 as the national standard for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system. Whilst no South African companies have yet achieved it, the IEE Project is supporting a number of local companies in working towards joining the approximately 1800 companies worldwide who have attained ISO 50001 certification at around 3 000 sites, most of which are in Europe.

One of the ways this support is delivered is through training courses in energy management systems (EnMS) and energy systems optimisation (ESO) introduced into South Africa through the IEE Project in 2010. To date, around 100 South Africans have qualified or are in the process of qualifying as EnMS or ESO experts. Another 2 000 professionals have completed the advanced user-level training in these areas.

Following the adoption of the SANS/ISO 50001 standard, the IEE Project together with the South African Auditor and Training Certification Authority (SAATCA) developed and convened two SANS/ISO 50001 lead auditor and training provider courses in 2012 and 2013 respectively. These courses have produced South Africa’s first lead auditors qualified to conduct SANS/ISO 50001 enterprise audits and provide training of auditors.

The EnMS and ESO experts trained under the IEE Project will also prove critical to the SANS/ISO 50001 certification process. Unlike many other ISO standards, the ISO 50001 standard requires considerable technical input on the different energy systems in a plant, and as such the audit requires a team made up of various energy experts, headed by a qualified ISO 50001 lead auditor.

According to Ndivhuho Raphulu, Director of the NCPC-SA and host at the certification event, supporting the introduction and implementation of an internationally recognised energy management standard is a core component of the IEE Project. “The Project aims to contribute to the sustainable transformation of industrial energy usage practice in South Africa, reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, and demonstrate the impact of energy efficiency practices as a means of increasing sustainability,” says Raphulu.

“The implementation of interventions in line with ISO 50001 reduces the kilowatt hours consumed by a plant, thus reducing costs and the level of CO2 emissions,” he says.

Already, local industry has made great progress in applying energy management systems and energy systems optimisation with the support of the IEE Project – with encouraging results. According to Raphulu, since the inception of the IEE Project in 2010, energy savings of over 267 million kilowatt hours have been recorded in 28 companies. This translates to R226 million and 254 500 tons of carbon emissions saved.

The IEE Project team envisages even greater progress as more companies reach for SANS/ISO 50001 certification and the maintenance thereof.

“Energy management is now a business imperative that creates winners all round – not only the company involved, but the broader economy, the national power grid and the environment,” concludes Raphulu.

Representatives of some of the IEE Project stakeholders, including the Department of Trade and Industry, UNIDO and donor agencies Swiss Secretariat for Economic Cooperation and Development (SECO) and United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) will congratulate the graduates at today’s event: “UNIDO, SAATCA, and the entire IEE Project Team is proud to present these graduates with their graduation certificates and celebrate their success,” says James New of UNIDO.

The event will take place at 16h30 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria. Any interested media are welcome to attend.

Companies interested in more information on assistance with SANS/ISO 50001 can contact the NCPC-SA on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 012 841 3772/ 841 2424

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* The IEE Project is a collaborative initiative between the South African government via the dti and the Department of Energy; the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO); the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs; and the UK Department for International Development.  It is implemented by the NCPC-SA and UNIDO.

** ISO 50001 is the “standardisation in the field of energy management, including energy efficiency, energy performance, energy supply, procurement practices for energy using equipment and systems, and energy use as well as measurement of current energy usage, implementation of a measurement system to document, report, and validate continual improvement in the area of energy management. (http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/management-standards/iso50001.htm)