UNECE is launching an expanded version of the Portal on Standards for SDGs, which allows users to identify standards which can contribute to the realization of individual Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Portal has been updated from 1,600 standards mapped across five SDGs to 20,000 standards, mapped across all seventeen SDGs, 40 case studies and 10 expert comment pieces, bringing together perspectives of standards experts from across the globe. This makes it the largest single repository of standards mapped to the SDGs.
Innovative research-based tools, such as the UNECE Portal on Standards for SDGs and associated mapping database, are crucial to fostering greater understanding of standardization and encourage standards developing organizations (SDOs) to increasingly consider standards as accelerators of sustainability.
“Standards are essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said UNECE Executive Secretary, Olga Algayerova. “By establishing technical specifications and procedures, standards facilitate product compliance, reduce transaction costs, and ensure the safety of products, processes, and services. As instruments borne by research, collaboration and innovation, standards – including those developed at UNECE – play a fundamental role in accelerating economic growth and disseminating best practices techniques, driving progress for the 2030 Agenda”.
To this end, UNECE’s unique new standards database enables users to find standards which can assist them with their sustainability targets. As such, it is an important contribution to the world of standardization and promotes greater public and private sector dialogue on the adoption of standards for targeted, sustainable outcomes.
Cultivating such a rich repository of standards mapped to the SDGs was made possible by strong global partnerships and cooperation with international standards developing organizations, committed to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. Established under the auspices of the UNECE’s 2018 project “Standards for the SDGs”, the UNECE Portal on Standards for the SDGs was first developed in collaboration with ASTM International, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB).
The partnership network has extended over time and precipitated the collective effort amongst international standards bodies. Many of these bodies publish mappings of their standards to the SDGs; this is the sole portal that consolidates these all together in a single portal allowing users to cross-reference standards from multiple organizations. The result is that the UNECE database has been updated from 1,600 standards (across five SDGs) to 20,000 standards, mapped across all seventeen SDGs. This was possible thanks to the direct collaboration of the international standards community, especially ASTM International, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as well as the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB).
The expansion of the web portal further draws on the extensive activities of the UNECE Working Party for Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies (WP.6). The portal also features an additional 40 case studies and 10 expert comment pieces, which demonstrate how standards can help achieve the SDGs.
On the occasion of the meeting of the World Trade Organization’s Technical Barriers to Trade Committee, UNECE reaffirms its commitment to fostering cooperation among stakeholders at the country and regional level to help harness trade as a foundation for sustainable economic development for the SDGs. Together with the updated standards mapping database, UNECE offers a wide variety of normative and policy tools to contribute to these efforts. In combination, these innovative instruments can provide the information and tools to achieve more sustainable outcomes, helping to ensure that the efficiencies and innovations afforded by standards are increasingly accessible to and understood by all in society.