17 July 2020. More than 4,000 UNE standards in the Spanish catalogue help companies achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the United Nations 2030 Agenda. The announcement was made by the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, on the occasion of the publication of its 2019 Annual Activities Report, which sets out the main milestones of the financial year.
Among these, UNE approved its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, which aims to help businesses and Public Administrations promote the standards they need to meet their major challenges and incorporates 1,860 new standards, bringing the Spanish catalogue to 33,345 standards, making it one of the most complete in the world.
The technical standard documents reflect market consensus on good practice for dealing with key issues for the competitiveness of organisations and offer several economic advantages: for companies, they can account for up to 5% of their annual sales revenue, while for the Spanish economy as a whole, the standards already account for 1% of GDP.
Roadmap on the SDGs
An illustrative example of the ability of standards to respond effectively to the challenges of organisations is their contribution to the achievement of the 17 UN SDGs. The UNE identified over 4,000 standards from the Spanish catalogue of 33,345 standards, which help companies to achieve them.
Standards are a first level guide on the SDGs, as they contain the consensus, best practices and collaboration required to meet this global challenge, establishing a common language and driving alliances.
For example, the new Standard UNE 149002, published in 2019, establishes requirements to identify whether products are biodegradable and degradable and, as a result, whether they can be disposed of in the toilet. This helps to achieve SDG 6 on ensuring access to clean water and sanitation and SDG 13 on climate action, among other advantages.
Last year, the UNE approved its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, which aims to help businesses and Public Administrations promote the standards they need to tackle major challenges in areas like:
Leading world standards
Spain is an international leader in standardisation, at the forefront of the world in standards of accessibility, tourism, sustainability in construction, compliance, intelligent cities and innovation, among other fields. Spanish experts also head up 127 international and European technical standardisation bodies.
UNE is made up of over 500 members representing practically the entire Spanish production fabric, making it a model case of public-private collaboration. To foster this collaboration, the Advisory Commissions on Construction, Electrotechnical and Circular Economy were created in 2019. UNE is backed by AENOR and CEIS.
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