State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, is encouraging companies to make international standards commonplace in their industries as a means of managing energy usage.
She was speaking on Thursday July 12 at the opening of an International Standardization Organization (ISO) 50001 Certification and Energy Efficiency Seminar organized by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) in collaboration with the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), at the Holiday Inn resort in Montego Bay.
The State Minister lauded local companies that have made strident efforts to create energy efficiencies and safeguard the Jamaican economy through the introduction of the ISO 50001:2011 energy management system, which she said, provides benefits and establishes a framework for entire organizations to manage energy.
She encouraged other organizations, large and small, to implement the system in their operations, noting that “if widely adopted, the ISO 50001 standards could influence up to 60 per cent of the world’s energy use across many economic sectors".
"It will also demonstrate your organization’s commitment to sound energy management. With this system, you can assure your customers that efficient energy use is one of your top priorities,” she stated.
Citing the country’s $193 billion per year oil bill, the State Minister said the public and private sectors must come together to take “decisive action” to lower Jamaica’s energy consumption.
"Unless we take action, we could face the possibility of business closures. We could face the possibility of businesses relocating to more competitive markets in the Caribbean or elsewhere. All of this would mean the loss of valuable foreign exchange, jobs and revenues,” she stated.
She noted that while individual organizations will be able to achieve efficiencies and improved performance, this situation calls for a more collaborative approach.
"By working together we will have a much greater impact on reducing both energy cost and consumption," she contended.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter