Standards for a sustainable world

Providing greater opportunities for economic development

By Frans Vreeswijk

Sustainability is an increasing focus both for society and industry.

Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary and CEO

In the developed world, our linear economic model whereby products are manufactured, used and then discarded is increasingly and rightfully challenged by one that encourages the development and use of products that last longer, can be more easily repaired and upgraded. IEC work provides the methodologies and requirements that encourage a circular economy, allowing societies to reduce waste and make better use of limited natural resources.

On the other side of the spectrum, developing economies are looking to the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) to overcome poverty and hunger, increase access to energy and clean water, better health and greater opportunities for economic development.
IEC work provides the technical foundation that helps increase the quality and resilience of infrastructure; encourages technology transfer and makes products safer and more efficient.

The IEC is technology focused and only very few IEC International Standards can be clearly attributed to a single SDG. Many different IEC technical committees develop thousands of standards that are used by experts during research and development, design, manufacturing, testing and certification, installation, maintenance or repairs. These standards allow quality, safety and efficiency to be built into products and systems from the start.

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Young woman considering statistics Innovative technologies contribute towards achieving a sustainable world