5 June 2019. Nearly 1,000 Spanish UNE standards help companies protect the environment. This announcement was made by the Spanish Association for Standardisation-UNE, on the occasion of World Environment Day, which is celebrated on 5 June each year since it was established by the UN in 1974.
Technical standards help organisations successfully overcome their major environmental and sustainability challenges in fields such as climate change, circular economy, labelling, measurement of environmental parameters, efficient water use, eco-design and energy performance improvements. They also support public administrations in implementing regulations; in fact, the EU action plan for the Circular Economy, the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change or the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives are examples in which the EU uses standardisation to ensure compliance with its policies.
For example, the new Standard UNE 149002 establishes criteria and requirements to identify whether or not products are biodegradable and degradable and, as a result, whether or not they can be disposed of in the toilet. The standard gives an effective response to the problem of blockages in the sewerage network, as it enables environmentally conscious and high quality disposable products to be used. This standard has been supported by the water and paper industries and created with the participation of all parties concerned and by general consent.
Standards are documents accessible to all that contain the market consensus on good practices, contributing to promoting a sustainable development model. Standards are reliable and agreed tools to improve the environmental performance of organisations and their products and services.
One of the standards that applies to organisations in all industries is UNE-EN ISO 14001 on Environmental Management, which contributes to combating environmental impact. It is the most widely used environmental management tool in the world and is effectively applied by nearly 350,000 organisations in 201 countries.
Within the field of energy efficiency is Standard UNE-EN-ISO 50001 on Energy Management, which helps organisations manage and reduce energy use. By applying this standard, organisations have been able to systematically reduce energy costs by between 5% and 30%.
Within the carbon footprint field, Standard UNE-ISO 14064-1 establishes the criteria by which to quantify and report on greenhouse gas emissions and removal.
In addition, numerous product and service standards include environmental criteria and there are industry standards that focus on establishing guidelines to ensure that organisations perform their activities under environmentally sustainable conditions. Furthermore, making industrial and services activities environmentally sustainable is one of the key components of standardisation.