World Standards Day 2020: standards are essential to protect the planet


On 14 October 2020, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI, the three official European Standardization Organizations, join the international standardization community in celebrating World Standards Day. By focusing on the environment, this year’s edition aims to raise awareness on the potential of standards to help tackle the climate crisis.

Standards play a great role in boosting the ecological transition. They can make home appliances, devices and infrastructures more energy-efficient, create ways to reuse and recycle waste, and set incentives to make steel and cement more sustainable. Developing environmentally ambitious standards is also instrumental to achieve some of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


This year’s World Standards Day, “Protecting the planet with standards”, celebrates the potential of standards to help our world become more sustainable by setting common rules that help businesses provide better goods and services, while respecting planetary boundaries. It is a moment to showcase particularly successful examples of how standards contribute safe and proactive changes to our world and raise awareness on the importance of standardization to the world economy, but also the environment and consumers worldwide.


This role is particularly prominent in Europe, on the forefront of the green transition. In particular, through the Green Deal, the European Commission has set a series of ambitious goals to transition towards a fully green economy and reach the global climate target of net zero by 2050. To reach these objectives, all actors involved will have to rethink the way to produce and consume, the way our infrastructures work, the use of resources and the functioning of transportation systems.


As the officially recognised European standardization organizations, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI know that European Standards (ENs) have a key role to play in making the Green Deal reality. Thanks to a voluntary, flexible and open system and the work and technical knowledge of more than 90.000 European experts from industry, consumers’, workers’ and environmental organizations, they provide European best practices which lead the green transition of society, keeping the citizens’ interests in mind and contributing to strengthening and fine-tuning the European Single Market.


Furthermore, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI support Europe’s green ambitions while promoting European interests in international standardization. Thanks to CEN and CENELEC strong and fruitful collaboration with ISO and IEC at the international level and through ETSI’s broad international outreach stemming both from its membership and extended partnerships, the European Standards Organizations are happy to contribute to a standardization system that works best for businesses, for citizens and for the environment.


Elena Santiago Cid, Director General of CEN and CENELEC, said: “CEN and CENELEC are fully committed to the transition towards a green, more sustainable global economy. To reach this ambitious goal, a holistic approach is needed: we all need to rethink the use of resources, the way our infrastructure is designed, the functioning of transportation systems, and the way we produce and consume. European Standards (ENs) provide key support all across aboard, as our work in helping  make the European Green Deal a reality shows”.


Luis Jorge Romero, Director-General of ETSI, said: “By enabling global interoperability, current and future ICT standards help us better communicate, which is key for sustainability. As the world enters a new phase where communication through 5G and the generations to follow will be prominent, ICT networks, devices and components will need to be more environment friendly and energy efficient. Over the last few years, ETSI members and partners have been actively working on making Green become a reality in Europe and beyond.”      


What is World Standards Day?


World Standards Day began as a celebration of the birth of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which held its first meeting in London on October 14, 1946.

The World Standards Day is sponsored annually by ISO; the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which develops international standards for the electrical and electronics industries; and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an international organisation responsible for the coordination, development, regulation, and standardisation of telecommunications standards.


You can join the celebrations online through the hashtag #WorldStandardsDay2020.


Download the Press Release (PDF)


Giovanni COLLOT


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