ISO paints brighter future with guide for sustainability in standards development

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By Clare Naden
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International Standards are essential tools for addressing many of the world’s pressing challenges, particularly those related to sustainable development. Recognizing the importance of this, ISO has a guide for all its standards developers on how to address sustainability issues in all ISO deliverables. It has just been updated.

ISO Guide 82, Guidelines for addressing sustainability in standards, provides advice to standards developers on how to take account of sustainability issues in the drafting or revision of ISO standards. It helps raise awareness of the challenges of sustainable development amongst standards writers and provides them with a systematic and consistent approach to identifying and assessing sustainability factors inherent in every standardization project. It also provides a way of reflecting those factors in the final text.

The guide has been updated to include information on how ISO standards can support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), a global initiative designed to shift the world on to a more prosperous, inclusive and resilient path. It also provides guidance to identify partnerships with other organizations that would enhance the ability of integrating these SDGs in the drafting process.

Jimmy Yoler, Convenor of the expert working group that revised the guide, said it will ensure ISO standards continue to be relevant in helping governments, industry and consumers contribute to the achievement of the UN SDGs.

“This guidance will improve committee members’ understanding of what sustainability is, as well as its complexity. It will also encourage them to acquire extra expertise and partnerships in the field of sustainable development and to identify and address sustainability topics for standards development” he said.

“This will bring added value to the contribution that ISO International Standards make to a better world for us all” Yoler concludes.

The revised version of ISO Guide 82 is available from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.

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