Two global leaders in energy management, 3M Company and Schneider Electric, recognized the benefits of a standardized approach to energy management and, in response, are expanding certification of their manufacturing facilities to ISO 50001 and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Superior Energy Performance® (SEP) program. Both companies have been implementing energy management strategies for many years; their initial rollout provided the opportunity to compare traditional approaches with ISO and SEP frameworks. Although both organizations realized energy and cost savings across the board, energy performance improvements at the certified facilities were significantly greater—up to 65%—compared to the non-certified facilities.


3M was involved in the development of ISO 50001, becoming an early adopter. By end-2015, the standard was implemented at 18 manufacturing plants, a number that has recently risen to 23, with SEP implemented at 7 of the sites and Korean SEP at one of the sites. The graph below shows the energy savings for these 18 pioneers versus those for 3M facilities that have adopted energy management strategies but have not implemented ISO 50001. While both subsets saw improvement, the certified plants have realized savings that, on average, are 62% greater than their peer facilities. By 2015, the ISO 50001-certified facilities had achieved a collective improvement in energy intensity of 10.5%.

Schneider Electric has seen similar results. Upon ISO 50001’s and SEP’s establishment, Schneider Electric began adopting these frameworks, certifying 20 of their North America plants. As shown in the graph below, results indicate that these 20 facilities have experienced a 65% savings improvement compared to the non-certified sites over the last 4 years. Overall, the savings gap between the certified and non-certified sites is increasing over time.

Energy leaders such as 3M and Schneider Electric are demonstrating the value of implementing these recognized energy management approaches and SEP. These frameworks, combined with the SEP Measurement and Verification (M&V) Protocol, drive not only performance improvement but also consistency across the company, enabling them to compare, confirm, and build on results.

For more details, see case studies prepared by 3M and Schneider Electric.

ISO 50001 is the international standard for energy management systems, a recognized framework to help industrial and commercial organizations manage and improve energy performance. Superior Energy Performance® is a DOE-administered certification program that provides guidance, tools, and protocols for facilities that want to achieve deeper, more sustained savings from ISO 50001. SEP also complements and supports the industrial part of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative by verifying facility-level energy performance improvements and savings achieved by participants in the Better Buildings, Better Plants program. Members of the U.S. Council for Energy Efficient Manufacturing, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board developed SEP as a transparent system for certifying sustained improvements in energy performance and management practices.