ISO’s sustainability path from Earth Summit to Rio+20
Posted on September 16, 2011 by derek
ISO has just released a new brochure in preparation for the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development in 2012 on how voluntary ISO International Standards, developed through the strength of consensus among stakeholders from business, government and society, have provided tools for translating the global desire for a sustainable world expressed since the Earth Summit in 1992 into practical actions that achieve positive results.
The brochure provides a concise description of ISO and how it works, and concrete examples of achievements by the international community, who will be represented at Rio+20, working within the ISO system. The examples illustrate how ISO standards serve as tools in the three dimensions of sustainable development.
Examples include the following:
- In the environmental dimension, the ISO 14000 family of standards for environmental management which translates into action ISO’s commitment to support the objective of sustainable development discussed at the first Earth Summit
- The ISO 14064:2006 and ISO 14065:2007 standards which provide an internationally agreed framework for measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and verifying claims made about them (Brief note: We provide ISO 14064 standard, and there is a grant for this for Singapore SME’s).
- More than 650 International Standards for the monitoring of such aspects as the quality of air, water, soil and nuclear radiation. These standards are tools for providing business and government with scientifically valid data on the environmental effects of economic activity. They may also be used as the technical basis for environmental regulations
- Other environment-related work includes standards for designing buildings, or retrofitting existing ones, for improved energy efficiency
- In the economic dimension, ISO standards provide solutions and achieve benefits for almost all sectors of activity, including agriculture, construction, mechanical engineering, manufacturing, distribution, transport, healthcare, information and communication technologies, food, water, the environment, energy, quality management, conformity assessment and services
- In the societal dimension, ISO standards help governments, civil society and the business world to translate societal aspirations, such as for social responsibility, health, and safe food and water, into concrete realizations. In so doing, they support the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.