Following recent research showing that fewer than one in four of the world’s largest companies is on track to meet basic climate change targets, members of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) launched the London Declaration, which promises to embed key climate considerations into every new standard that is created. Furthermore, it will also retrospectively add these requirements to all existing standards as they are revised, a change on an unparalleled scale.
“ISO hereby commits to work with its members, stakeholders and partners to ensure that ISO International Standards and publications accelerate the successful achievement of the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience,” the Declaration reads.
“Consensus-based standards are in a unique position to enact positive climate action,” said Scott Steedman, Director-General of Standards at the British Standards Institution (BSI). “The sheer scale that standards operate at and the vital role they play for government and industry alike means they can accelerate the achievement of the climate goals. The Declaration will help ensure that climate-friendly standards become the norm across all industries.”
ISO has produced over a thousand standards, including those that support climate adaptation and mitigation that contribute directly to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on climate action. The London Declaration emphasises International Standards’ important role in assisting communities, organisations and industries in the transition to cleaner, renewable energy sources. They can also help to preserve biodiversity at the same time as opening up markets for innovations that address global environmental challenges.
As well as promising that ISO will work with all members, stakeholders and partners to actively consider climate science in the development of new and revised standards and publications, the Declaration also stipulates that it will facilitate the involvement of civil society and those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change in the development of all international standards and publications.
The Declaration was approved by ISO members representing 165 countries from around the world, including Central and Eastern Europe. Among those, Belarus’ BELST regulates energy efficiency, control and supervision in construction, use of fuel, electric and heat energy. In Hungary, standardisation activities date back over 120 years and began with the standardisation of building materials with the first Hungarian standard published in 1892. Today, the Hungarian Standards Institution (MSZT) counts more than 3500 experts. Or, the Croatian Standards Institute (HZN) that, among others, aims to protect human health and lives and environmental protection, improve production efficiency and remove technical barriers to international trade.