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Sustainable development, emerging technologies: can international standards make a difference?

Business May 29th, 2014, Alan Bryden / General Mining Engineer, former Secretary General of ISO, the International Organization for Standardization (2003-2009)

Sustainable development mantras are all over the world, but change is slow to come. While the international negotiations in the context of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have not shown much progress, international standards suggest a less visible, more influential and pragmatic way to impulse change. In recent years a set of tools has been developed to address the interrelated challenges of climate change, energy, water and nutrition. In an increasingly global economy, could they make a difference?

China’s standardization strategies

Industries October 9th, 2012, Olivier Peyrat / Director general, AFNOR (French Agency of Standardization)

There are now more standards in China than in any other country: almost 150000, seven times more than in the European Union. Why such a strong interest for standardization? The great number of issues involved allows observers to identify several trends, all of them driving tactical moves towards standardization. But does China have a Grand Strategy?

Standards are boring? Think twice…

Business June 21st, 2010, Alan Bryden / General Mining Engineer, former Secretary General of ISO, the International Organization for Standardization (2003-2009)

Standards are usually seen as constraints rather than dynamic tools to disseminate innovation and best practices and facilitate market access. There is a lot of confusion between regulation and standards. With the globalization of trade and of many other issues, the need for and the production of international standards has significantly increased. They should form an integral part of the overall management and strategies of companies and organizations. If you ignore it, you could well be out of the game...

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