ISO Standards in Action

ISO International Standards provide practical tools for tackling many of today’s global challenges, from managing global water resources to improving the safety of the food we eat.

In this section you can learn about how International Standards work in the real world, and the benefits they bring to business, society and the environment. Each page contains topical information, news articles and other resources on the topic.

Sustainable Development

Child hugging tree

Sustainable Development is "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (WCED).

Many of ISO’s 21000 standards help businesses and organizations do just that, for the environment, economy and society.

Find out more about ISO standards and sustainable development.


Soup with pasta and spoon

ISO International Standards create confidence in the products we eat or drink by ensuring the world uses the same recipe when it comes to quality, safety and efficiency.

ISO has more than 1000 standards dedicated to food, covering everything from agricultural machinery to transportation, manufacturing and storage.

Find out more about ISO standards and food.


Glass of water in desert

Few challenges are more global than water. ISO water standards provide global tools that help us all manage our water resources equitably, and sustainably.

Their use helps to alleviate water scarcity, thereby contributing to achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

Find out more about ISO standards and water.


Services represent more than two thirds of World Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the World Trade Organization. They are a core economic activity, contributing more to GDP than both industry and agriculture combined.

ISO develops International Standards that help ensure that services are of a consistent, high quality.

Find out more about ISO standards and services.

Climate change

Footprint of clouds in the sky

Climate change is the major environmental challenge of our time.

ISO standards help tackle climate change, with requirements for measuring greenhouse gas emissions and verifying claims made about them, as well as standards that focus on environmental and energy management.

Find out more about ISO standards and climate change.

Energy and renewables

Reducing energy consumption and the dependency on fossil fuels is a major challenge.

ISO International Standards can help solve the energy challenge by increasing energy efficiency, and promoting the development of renewable energy technologies.

Find out more about ISO standards and energy efficiency and renewables.


Green car driving along road

With more than a billion estimated road vehicles in use worldwide, not to mention planes, trains and spacecraft, the potential impact of standards on global sustainable development in transport is enormous.

ISO standards for transport include cover everything from safety, ergonomics and performance, to test methods and the environment, creating an innovation platform for the automobile, marine and aerospace industries.

Find out more about ISO standards and transport.

Health and safety

Health worker holding clipboard

Access to health services, quality care, and safe medical practices and equipment is a basic human right.

ISO has more than 1300 standards that help to improve health-related products and services, ranging from dentistry to medical devices, and health informatics to traditional medicines.

Find out more about ISO standards and health.


With more than a billion people globally affected by some kind of disability, combined with an ageing population, accessibility to products and services has never been more important.

But accessible solutions are not just for the disabled or elderly – they make products more appealing to a wide range of audiences. ISO has standards that help everyone from manufacturers to policy makers improve accessibility for all.

Find out more about ISO standards and accessibility.