Telecommunications provider Bell Canada has seen a lot of changes over the past century and a half. This includes how it competes for the best and brightest employees, maintains shareholder value, and meets evolving regulatory and societal expectations. Now, this Canada-wide company, with roots back to 1880, is better able to compete in a world in which managing its energy footprint is increasingly important.
With support from Golder, Bell Canada is the first telecommunications company in North America to have its Energy Management System (EnMS) certified under the ISO 50001:2018 standard. This international certification recognizes organizations that have a process in place to reduce their energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and to implement energy efficiency measures. Golder supported this process through an EnMS gap analysis, systems review, and by helping to develop a roadmap towards ISO 50001 certification.
Bell was interested in identifying and reducing the energy impact of its operations, which include wireless, Internet, TV, and smart home and business services. Golder’s brief covered Bell’s real estate holdings, fleet of service vehicles, as well as its mobility network including cellular towers, and its Networks business unit, right across the country.
To do this, Golder worked with Bell to evaluate its existing energy management programs. This involved working with each Bell business unit within the scope of the EnMS to conduct a detailed review of existing management systems, identify gaps against the requirements of the ISO standard, and suggest opportunities for improvement.
As part of its improved EnMS, Bell has optimized facility and equipment heating and cooling, cut electricity usage through LED lighting conversion and other operational innovations, reduced fuel consumption with ongoing fleet modernization, and invested in solar and other renewable energy options for cellular sites and other installations. Bell also leverages next-generation communications technologies offered to customers, including video and teleconferencing and Internet of Things (IoT) advancements, enabling the optimization of asset and fleet management, home automation, smart buildings and smart cities.
Earning the ISO 50001 certification indicates Bell’s success in understanding its energy footprint and is an important step forward on its journey towards sustainability.
ISO 50001: a springboard off ISO process, environmental and safety standards
Golder’s James Hartshorn, who was Lead Consultant on the Bell Canada project, reports many organizations are pleased to find that in seeking certification under the ISO 50001 energy management standard, they’ve already got the necessary processes in place from previous certifications. In fact, other ISO standards such as ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 14001 for environmental management, and ISO 45001 for health and safety management, are written to facilitate integration. This means that the processes companies set up to meet ISO 14001 requirements, for example, are similar to those needed to conform to ISO 50001.
One of the significant benefits common to all ISO standards is that they force organizations to put their operations under a microscope to more thoroughly understand their operational risks and examine the effectiveness of their internal risk management processes. This often highlights opportunities for improvement including reduced wastage, smaller footprints, improved risk assessment, safer workplaces, and more effective non-conformance management.
Using ISO 50001 certification to meet other business priorities
Being the first industry in North America to achieve this certification gives Bell Canada an edge in a number of areas. Many highly-skilled employees like working for a company that takes reducing its energy and carbon impacts seriously and has been internationally verified. This gives Bell an edge in employee recruiting and retention.
Many investors and other financial sources also like that the company is managing its energy-related costs and impacts and is enhancing its resiliency against future climate risks. This certification helps Bell Canada demonstrate its commitment to global initiatives such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), which seek to promote activity that manages energy consumption and carbon output, among other factors.
Supporting the SDGs is increasingly important for companies wanting to be seen as preferred suppliers. Having an ISO 50001 certification – as well as others in the ISO family, such as the ISO 14001 environmental standard – helps customers justify their choice. With Golder’s help towards being ISO 50001 certified, Bell Canada has a set of powerful tools that will support its goal to be carbon neutral across its operations by 2025.
To learn more about ISO Standards, please visit: www.iso.org/standards.html.