The Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, today held its General Meeting, at which it presented its Annual Report for 2021, a year in which it focused its efforts on supporting the recovery of the Spanish economy in view of the continuing effects of the crisis caused by COVID-19. 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 Garc�a, UNE's CEO.
In 2021, it 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.
2019-2021 Strategic Plan
Last year 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.
Furthermore, the General Meeting has approved the UNE 2025 Strategy, which aims to provide solutions to the challenges facing society, carry out the Association's digital transformation and be recognised as an exemplary organisation 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.
Another milestone of 2021 was the consolidation of the UNE Market Surveillance Observatory 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.
More weight in the world
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. As a result of this consolidation, Javier Garc�a, 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.
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. UNE is made up of over 500 members representing practically the entire Spanish production fabric, making it a model case of public-private collaboration.
Also relevant is the facilitating role of standards in achieving the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the 2030 Agenda.
Find it here UNE Annual Report 2021.
In the photograph: Galo Guti�rrez, General Director of Industry and SMEs of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism; and Carlos Esteban, Chairman of UNE, after the end of the UNE General Meeting.