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ISO standards and Rio+20 – brochure updated with user referrals - 17 May 2012.

ISO has just released a second edition of its brochure for the upcoming Rio+20 summit* now including referrals from users and stakeholders on how voluntary ISO International Standards help to achieve the objective of sustainability.

The new edition of the brochure, Rio+20. Forging action from agreement – How ISO standards translate good intentions about sustainability into concrete resultsincludes quotes from standards users worldwide, ranging from large corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises, and from the public sector.

New material in the second edition also includes examples of how ISO standards provide economic benefits both at the level of national economies and at that of individual companies.

ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele comments. "ISO standards developed through the strength of consensus among stakeholders from business, government and society help to translate the global desire for a sustainable world into practical actions."

Agreements reached at events like the Earth Summit and the forthcoming Rio+20 at the intergovernmental level, between public and private sectors, and with civil society, are supported by ISO’s current portfolio of more than 19 100 standards. These standards provide tools for tackling challenges in all three dimensions of sustainable development – environmental, economic and societal. Examples given in the brochure include the following:

  • In the environmental dimension, the ISO 14000 family of standards for environmental management which translates into action ISO's commitment to support the objective of sustainable development discussed at the first Earth Summit
  • The ISO 14064:2006 and ISO 14065:2007 standards which provide an internationally agreed framework for measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and verifying claims made about them
  • More than 650 International Standards for the monitoring of such aspects as the quality of air, water and soil. These standards are tools for providing business and government with scientifically valid data on the environmental effects of economic activity. They may also be used as the technical basis for environmental regulations
  • Other environment-related work includes standards for designing buildings, or retrofitting existing ones, for improved energy efficiency
  • In the economic dimension, ISO standards provide solutions and achieve benefits for almost all sectors of activity, including agriculture, construction, mechanical engineering, manufacturing, distribution, transport, healthcare, information and communication technologies, food, water, the environment, energy, quality management, conformity assessment and services
  • In the societal dimension, ISO standards help governments, civil society and the business world to translate societal aspirations, such as for social responsibility, health, the safety of machinery, access by the elderly and disabled to products, and for safe food and water, into concrete realizations. In so doing, they support the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

Rio+20. Forging action from agreement – How ISO standards translate good intentions about sustainability into concrete results (Second edition) published in English and French, is available free of charge from the ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department (see right-hand column). It can also be obtained from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). The brochure can also be downloaded as a PDF file free of charge from the ISO Website.

* At the summit, whose official title is the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), ISO will be holding a side event on "ISO International Standards and the green economy". ISO is organizing the event with its member for Brazil, the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT). The event is scheduled to take place on 18 June, from 09:30 to 11:00, in Room T-6 at the RioCentro, Rio de Janeiro. For confirmation, interested participants should for the latest updates.

17 May, 2012.