Considering the importance of ISO 50001 in sustainable development, the objective of this research is to identify the challenges found by organizations during the implementation of ISO 50001:2011, according to the literature. To address this objective, a systematic search was conducted. Scientific papers from the following international databases were used: Science Direct, Emerald Insight, Scopus, Springer, Wiley, and Taylor and Francis. Permutations of the terms “ISO 50001” and “Challenges”, “Barriers”, “Lacks”, “Gaps”, “Obstacles”, “Problems”, and “Limitations” were searched. Following this strategy, 206 documents were found. After removing book chapters, articles from proceedings, duplicate articles, and articles that did not mention any challenge related to ISO 50001, 17 articles were left. Eleven challenges were found in these articles. The most cited challenges were: “Lack of Resources-Limitations (HR, Technologies, Infrastructure, Financial, Time)”, “Difficulty to determine the energy baseline and energy performance indicators”, “Human Resources deficiencies (competences, knowledges, and abilities)”, and “Lack of management support and/or commitment”. The challenges most cited shows the need for better planning before implementation as well as a comprehensive analysis of the organization’s requirements and features. The findings of this research show that this theme is still underexplored. The results presented can contribute to future industrial policies to potentialize countries’ economies.
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