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1,000 UNE standards help companies protect the environment
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1,000 UNE standards help companies protect the environment

05/12/2019

Nearly 1,000 Spanish UNE standards help companies protect the environment. With this message, the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, wants to participate in the Climate Summit (COP25) being held these days in Madrid and, above all, to raise awareness on the urgency of action in the fight against climate change, as we are at a point of no return.

Technical standards help to successful overcome these major environmental challenges, and they are strategic allies of organisations in the fight against climate change, as they provide useful tools to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to adapt to the effects of climate change and to obtain adequate funding to achieve these objectives.

An illustrative example is the series of standards UNE-EN ISO 14064 that specify the principles and requirements for the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in organisations, as well as the GHG reducton projects and requirements for verification. In the specific case of the carbon footprint of products and services, the standard of reference is the UNE-EN ISO 14067.

Moreover, these standards help organisations in other fields such as 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.

Among the standards that apply to organisations in all sectors, the UNE-EN ISO 14001 on Environmental Management, which contributes to preventing environmental impacts, stands out. It is the world's leading environmental management tool.

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%.

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.