Madrid, 25 May 2022 – The Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, today held its General Assembly, during which it presented its Annual Report for 2021, a year in which it focused its efforts on aiding with the recovery of the Spanish economy following the persistent effects of the COVID-19 health crisis. UNE standards are a pillar of economic recovery and already account for 1% of Spain's GDP. They also represent up to 5% of companies' income from sales and reduce business costs by 7%.
"The Annual Report presented at our Annual General Meeting highlights how UNE contributes to the generation of shared progress, contributing the knowledge and experience of all its members and collaborating organisations to build a safer and more competitive and sustainable world; fostering collaboration with Spain's public administrations and economic sectors at all times," said Javier García, UNE's CEO.
Among the actions carried out in 2021 to strengthen the Spanish business fabric, UNE presented together with the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE) the report UNE Standards for Economic Recovery, whose aim is to promote companies and guide them in the implementation of projects developed through the Next Generation EU European funds. Standards are strategic allies of companies in Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan projects, as well as providing a guide for public administrations regarding the distribution of European funds.
Last year also saw the end of the implementation of the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, with a very positive result despite the economic crisis and the pandemic. The plan was created to encourage companies and public administrations to promote the necessary standards to help tackle their major challenges. Milestones include the weight gained by Spain in international standardisation, the addition of 73 new members and the signing of ten agreements with public administrations.
In addition to the above, the General Meeting approved the UNE 2025 Strategy, which aims to provide solutions to the challenges facing society, carry out the Association's digital transformation and be recognized as an exemplary organization in its ecosystem. To achieve these objectives, UNE has set itself a number of priorities, including supporting the environmental and energy transition of the Spanish business fabric, producing suitable standards for the digital economy, and improving communication on the benefits of standardisation to Spanish society.
Also in 2021, the UNE Market Surveillance Observatory was consolidated as a benchmark for compliance with technical standards and legislation. It is formed by more than 30 business organisations and the Ministries of Consumer Affairs, Industry, Trade and Tourism, and Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation. UNE's Market Surveillance Observatory published its first annual market surveillance report analysing the situation in relation to compliance with standards and legislation in order to prevent the marketing of unsafe products and services causing harm to the economy and consumers.
UNE gains weight in European and international standardization
The influence of Spanish standardisation in the international sphere - the OECD estimates that 80% of global trade is subject to standards - is becoming increasingly relevant. Spain is the fifth country in the implementation of quality standards in companies and institutions, only behind China, Italy, Japan and Germany, and leads international committees in numerous areas, such as anti-bribery, energy, health and road safety management. As a result of this consolidation, Javier García, the Managing Director of UNE, has been appointed Vice-President of Technical Management of ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, thus becoming the first Spaniard to hold this post.
In this context of internationalisation, UNE continues to work closely with Latin American standardisation organisations, to which it has given over 1,500 standards to facilitate trade exchanges with Spanish companies.
Main figures for 2021
In 2021, UNE added 2,451 standards to its catalogue, bringing its total to nearly 35,000 standards, some of which have become global benchmarks. These standards were developed by UNE's 234 Technical Committees, neutral spaces for dialogue and collaboration with more than 13,000 experts from Spanish organisations.
In addition, the organization's R&D&i project portfolio has increased by 48%, meaning that the most innovative products and services can enter the market faster, more effectively and successfully. UNE is the standardization partner in these R&D&i projects.
As to the number of members, 31 new members have joined the organisation, reaching the figure of 531. These include relevant national sector associations, public administrations, universities, renowned organisations, companies and professionals.
View the UNE Annual Report 2021 here.