This audit checklist ISO 50001 audit is a self-assessment by which an organization can determine whether it complies with ISO 50001, if not, what improvements are needed to reach compliance. It can also be used to perform the internal self-assessment of your organization’s energy management system (EMS) and determine improvements to implement to achieve ISO 50001 certification.

Audit Checklist ISO 50001

ISO 50001 is a standard that defines the best practices for energy management. It was designed to help an organization in data centers improve their energy performance and reduce their carbon footprint. The good news is that ISO 50001 audit checklist was introduced in May 2017 by BSI. This new audit checklist will replace existing audit checklists for ISO 50001 and ISO 14001.

ISO 50001 is a standard for energy management, specifically on how energy can be saved. It was designed for data centers of all sizes and can be used by all companies that want to use power efficiently, reduce costs, and improve the environment. The ISO 50001 is a checklist your company must complete to assess how well your data center uses energy. This checklist will help you understand whether your data center uses energy efficiently and what areas need improvement.

The main objectives of the standard are:

  • To reduce the overall consumption of electrical power of the organization;
  • Reduce pollution by reducing the consumption of fossil fuels;
  • Improve productivity and quality;
  • improve availability,
  • and increase customer satisfaction by meeting their expectations better.

What ISO 50001 Specifies?

ISO 50001 audit can help organizations comply with the requirements of the Energy Management System (EMS) standard. When performing your audit, you want to ensure your information systems align with the ISO 50001 standard.

What ISO 50001 specifies are:

  1. how to identify the scope of an EMS;
  2. how to develop and implement the EMS;
  3. how to monitor the EMS performance; and
  4. how to evaluate the EMS performance.

Regarding data center operations, some factors can affect your organization’s ability to meet or exceed efficiency requirements for ISO 50001. One way to help you determine which areas need optimization is to create a checklist of audit questions and perform an audit. This checklist can be used regularly throughout the year to ensure your data center operates as efficiently as possible.

Preparing ISO 50001 Audit

The first step in this process is determining who will conduct the audit. Conducting an audit requires many people who are knowledgeable about the facility, including security guards, head engineers, and maintenance workers. Additionally, your team must include a supervisor who ensures that everyone follows the ISO 50001 properly.

To help you prepare for an ISO 50001 audit, we’ve created a checklist of questions that your auditor will ask during the assessment process:

  1. Are there any facilities in the organization that may impact data center operations? If so, how are they managed?
  2. How do you define a “Data Center?”
  3. How were criticality levels and power classes assigned to different equipment/components?
  4. What are the top three goals and objectives of your Data Center?
  5. What are your primary areas of focus within your Data Center?
  6. What is your philosophy behind using equipment redundancies? How do you maintain those components?
  7. What was the timeline for replacing outdated legacy components with newer technology? Why did you choose to upgrade at this time?
  8. What type of hardware do you use? Are you using the latest versions with the newest upgrades?

Using this information, create a schedule for the audit so that you know what areas of the facility will be looked at each day and which people will be looking at them. Plan so everyone knows exactly what they’re supposed to do, when, and where they’re supposed to do it.

Lastly, ensure everything is documented—take pictures as you go through each area being audited for documentation purposes.

Energy Review

The Energy Review comprises three sections: Energy Efficiency Audit, Energy Accounting, and Environmental Impact Analysis.

The auditor will review your organization’s documentation related to energy management, including your standards, practices, procedures, policies, and training materials. The auditor will also assess your data center’s equipment, processes, measurement, and reporting systems. They may also sample representative equipment within the data center to verify that it is operating as expected.

The auditor will document any deviations from good industry practices or best practices found during the audit. These items should then be addressed on a remediation plan that you will develop with the auditor during the final stage of the audit process.

This audit is intended to only partially assess all aspects of an organization’s energy management program but rather a focused review of critical areas such as power distribution and data center cooling system operations. You must have already implemented basic measures to improve the overall energy efficiency of your data center before you begin.

Data Center Environmental Impact Analysis

The Data Center Environmental Impact Analysis (DC EIA) is a non-intrusive audit used to identify the sources of environmental impact and the possible ways of reducing them. It uses an ISO 50001:2011 framework and is founded on the principles of continuous improvement. The overall goal is to improve the environmental performance of a data center by identifying the sources of its impact, implementing ways to reduce it, and continually monitoring and improving its performance over time.

The DC EIA should be performed at least every three years, but ideally should be done annually. The primary goal of the audit is to determine if there are ways to reduce the environmental impact of your data center, so that staff can implement changes, whether those changes involve updating procedures or buying new equipment.

A data center’s waste materials are generated at different stages of its operations, from construction and operation to decommissioning. To achieve maximum compliance with the ISO 50001:2018 standard, data centers must maintain detailed records of how much waste material is created and what it consists of, how it’s handled (both while it’s being generated and after), and where it ends up.

Read also: Green Data Center Should Consider ISO 14001 and ISO 50001


Auditing your organization’s management systems against the ISO 50001 standard is an excellent way to prove to customers and environmental protection agencies that you are committed to being a green business.

Many organizations recently undergoing ISO 50001 certification audits have significantly boosted their business. Does this mean you can read a few checklists, fill in the blanks, and expect similar success?

Before trying to audit your management system, you need to know the ins and outs of ISO 50001. If you don’t, your efforts may be for naught. In particular, it’s crucial to understand how ISO 50001 differs from other standards and regulations—and why these differences must be considered when you prepare for an audit.

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