Environmental Interests

Why are standards relevant for the protection the environment?


Standards are an aspect of industry self-regulation. They pervade a significant part of human activity and affect environmental quality and sustainability of products, processes and services in a multitude of ways.


For example, standards are used to set minimum environmental performance levels of products and processes, or to define measurement methodologies to monitor the environmental quality of human environments. Standards can also affect the labelling requirements for products such as domestic appliances, and therefore play an important role in consumer protection.


Standards are primarily designed for voluntary use. However, laws and regulations may refer to standards and make compliance with them compulsory. An example of this is the Eco-Design Directive for energy-related products (2009/125/EC). The Directive sets product-specific regulations for appliances such as washing machines, boilers, TVs and computers and these are supported by standards setting out the requirements for test methods to demonstrate compliance with the regulations’ minimum energy performance requirements.

Why do Environmental representatives need to participate in standardization?


A European standard is shaped by those who contribute to its development, and all European Standards are adopted as national standards in the CEN and CENELEC member countries. It is essential that all stakeholders, especially societal stakeholders, contribute to standardization work to ensure the development of comprehensive and ambitious standards.


Moreover, standards are increasingly of interest to policy makers and regulators in Europe as an alternative to formal regulation and conforming to standards is seen as a means of reducing the need for inspections and enforcement action by regulatory authorities.

The participation of Environmental representatives in standardization is therefore of utmost importance: they contribute to ensure quality of standards that consider environmental interests and facilitate the legitimacy of the standardization system by building confidence and trust.


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