Skip main navigation
Home>The Association>UNE Briefing Room>Press releases>UNE consolidates itself as a social and economic benchmark after its key response to beat COVID-19

UNE consolidates itself as a social and economic benchmark after its key response to beat COVID-19


  • In 2020, the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, focused its efforts on alleviating the health emergency and the recovery of the Spanish economy, taking several initiatives to overcome COVID-19. These actions consolidate it as a benchmark in Spain.
  • In the event of the shortage of medical devices and PPE, UNE made the essential health material standards available free of charge to facilitate their production with quality, safety and speed. Thanks to this action, more than 55,000 UNE standards were downloaded that led to the manufacture of masks, gloves or protective eyewear. This earned it the recognition of the Spanish Network of the UN Global Compact.
  • In addition, as a result of the collaboration between Administrations and companies, UNE developed business management standards in record time for the quality and safety of products for reducing risks against coronavirus: face masks, tourism, funeral centres, ultraviolet light and business continuity. UNE is a successful model of public-private collaboration.

26 May 2021. The Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, today held its General Assembly during which it presented its 2020 Annual Activity Report, a year in which it focused its efforts on alleviating the health emergency and supporting the recovery of the Spanish economy in the face of the crisis caused by COVID-19. The outstanding contribution that the Spanish standardisation body had in the battle to beat coronavirus consolidates it as a social and economic benchmark, as well as garnering it several recognitions.

Under the title "Standardization. By your side. Now and always", UNE's 2020 Annual Report reveals the Organisation's key role in overcoming the health and economic emergency. Technical standards, also known as standards, reflect the best practices and consensus among experts, generating security and trust among society.

At the outset of the pandemic, and faced with the shortage of medical devices and PPE, UNE made the essential health material standards and other documents available free of charge to facilitate their production with quality, safety and speed. These standards describe the essential processes for manufacturing healthcare equipment, such as surgical masks, gowns, sheets, eyewear and other protective clothing.

Thanks to this measure, all interested parties were able to download more than 55,000 documents, the market value of which would exceed five million euros. This is an exceptional measure, as income from the sale of standards is fundamental to the sustainability of the Spanish standardisation development model.

This action won it the recognition of the Spanish Network of the UN Global Compact, including it in its campaign "COVID-19 Initiatives", which shone a spotlight on initiatives with principles and the efforts of organisations to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, support workers and facilitate the continuity of organisations for a rapid recovery of the economy.

In addition, UNE also developed, in record time, several business management and product quality and safety standards for reducing risks against coronavirus, together with other relevant sector associations who are also UNE members. The standards developed cover areas, such as hygienic masks, tourism, funeral facilities and UV-C equipment used for sterilising air flows, all promoting safety and trust.

  • Specifications UNE 0064 and UNE 0065 for hygienic masks. which establish the minimum requirements that disposable masks must comply with in terms of the materials used for their design, manufacture, marking and use. They were published before 14 April, displaying a great example of public-private collaboration, with the participation of four Ministries (Health; Industry, Trade and Tourism; Consumer and Labour and Social Economy) together with several private entities.
  • UNE 0066 specifications to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in the tourism sector. This standard emerged from the assignment issued by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism (MINCOTUR) through the Secretary of State for Tourism to the ICTE in an effort to standardise protocols nationally. These 22 UNE Specifications establish the guidelines and recommendations for reducing the risk of contagion in the tourism sector. They have been the basis for the global ISO/PAS 5643 standard for safe tourism.
  • UNE 0069 specification on safety and hygiene for the funeral industry. Promoted by PANASEF, it establishes the hygiene and health requirements and recommendations for funeral, cremation and funeral facilities with the aim of preventing the risk of contagion in funeral facilities.
  • UNE 0068 specification on Safety requirements for UV-C equipment Promoted by ANFALUM, it establishes the safety requirements for UV-C equipment used for room air and surface disinfection. It is a key tool to reduce uncertainty about these devices and promote their safe use.
  • Risk Management, Business Continuity and Resilience Standards. Several standards provide strategic tools when managing crises, like the one now and during an economic recovery. For example, UNE-EN ISO 22301 Security and resilience. Business continuity management system. Requirements; UNE-ISO 31000 on Risk Management, or UNE-ISO 22316 Security and resilience. Organizational resilience. Principles and attributes.

2025 Strategic Plan

Furthermore, the UNE General Assembly has approved its Strategic Plan until 2025, which is based on three strategic objectives: provide solutions to the challenges facing society, to carry out its digital transformation and to be recognised as an exemplary organisation in Spanish society and the productive fabric.

These objectives establish the steps that will guide UNE to achieving its mission, helping to promote the competitiveness of companies and the development of society with standards that generate trust.

The 2015 Strategic Plan provides continuity to the 2019-2021 Plan. In this regard, 2020 was its second year of implementation, with a positive result and a 79% degree of compliance, between the actions implemented and those in progress. It was prepared by UNE members, reflecting the future aspirations of the Association: to help organisations face their major challenges and strengthen UNE's associative and multi-sectoral model.

Main figures 2020

In 2020, UNE incorporated 1,999 new standards, 7.5% more, bringing the Spanish standards catalogue to a total of 33,970 standards, making it one of the most extensive catalogues in the world.

Spain is an international leader in standardisation, at the forefront of the world in standards for accessibility, tourism, sustainability in construction, compliance, intelligent cities and innovation, among other fields. In addition, Spanish experts assumed 17 new international and European responsibilities in 2020, bringing the total figure to 144.

The public entity also released the Reports Support for Standardization of the Ecological Transition and Support for the Standardization of Digital Transformation in order to guide the economic sectors through this two-fold transition.

Also relevant is the facilitating role of standards in achieving the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the 2030 Agenda. In fact, more than 4,000 UNE standards help society and companies achieve the SDGs.

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 Market Surveillance Observatory was created in 2020, which is added to the existing Advisory Commissions on Construction, Electrotechnical and Circular Economy. UNE is backed by AENOR and CEIS.

View the 2020 UNE Annual Report here.