Unison first in New Zealand to achieve ISO 55001 asset management certification

March 27, 2018 08:57 AM
Unison Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland, at Tamatea Zone Substation in Napier – a site highly commended by BSI.
Unison Networks Limited has become the first company and electricity distribution business in New Zealand to attain certification to the ISO 55001 standard, regarded as the benchmark for asset management globally.

The certification was awarded by BSI (British Standards Institute) – a world-leading standards body – after an in-depth assessment and audit process, which started in November last year.

Unison Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland said the Company was delighted to join a growing group of certified organisations globally that employ a ‘best practice’ approach to managing the lifecycle of their assets.

“We saw significant value in implementing the ISO 55001 standard as it provides a robust framework for integrating strategy, business capabilities and the technical disciplines for managing electricity distribution networks.

“It’s been a considerable commitment across our business to get to this point. We have spent the last two years building an asset management system that focuses on realising value from our assets through their lifetime, for the benefit of our customers, our shareholders and our wider stakeholder group” said Mr Sutherland.

Mr Sutherland said the certification is not an end in itself.

“We have become increasingly focused on continual improvement. We are committed to identifying opportunities to improve the processes and systems we use for managing our assets, especially with advances in technology, which will ultimately improve performance and reliability for our customers,” said Mr Sutherland.

BSI assessed Unison’s asset management system that applies to the governance of its distribution lines, cables, transformers, switchgear and associated equipment, to distribute electricity to the regional communities of Hawke’s Bay, Taupo and Rotorua.
They also visited depots, interviewed many of Unison’s people and undertook an in-depth review of systems and processes. Throughout the two-stage audit process, no non-conformances were identified.

BSI Auditor, Ratna Pullela, conducted the two assessments involved in the certification and said, “It’s exciting to award the first ISO 55001 certification in New Zealand.

“We were impressed by Unison’s proactive and progressive culture, excellent engagement with its main contractor and sub-contractors, and the highly competent, motivated, passionate and honest staff.

“We also noted in our audit the commitment from management to effectively manage company assets and for driving continual improvement. We are confident Unison has the systems in place to continue the good work,” said Mr Pullela.