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Sustainable development

ISO standards and sustainable development

Rio de Janeiro’s 1992 conference put sustainable development clearly on the political agenda. More than twenty years on, the issue is more relevant than ever. From carbon footprint to community infrastructures, sustainable events and the many environmental challenges that businesses face, ISO has a comprehensive range of standards that can help businesses and organizations all over the world make progress in the three pillars of sustainable development – the environment, economy and society.

Carbon footprint

The carbon (or environmental) footprint is increasingly used by governments and societies as the core indicator of our impact on the environment. But does one size fit all? ISO has produced a briefing note by environmental standards experts that sheds light on the importance of consistency in standards in this field and how they can break down barriers to trade and help to build a more sustainable future.

On this page you will also find topical information and news postings about how ISO standards support sustainable development.

Video: ISO and social responsibility

Video: ISO and Social Responsibility

Related brochures and products

A guide on how to use the GRI G4 Guidelines and ISO 26000 in conjunction

What does a “smart” city look like? To find out, read this issue ISOfocus, which looks at some of the smart city trends.

The ISO 14000 family

A basic introduction to the ISO 14000 family of standards.

Articles on this topic

New global platform to help cities become sustainable and smart

While we often hear about smart, sustainable cities, adding smartness to an existing urban environment or developing a Smart City from scratch is a mammoth undertaking.

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Happy cities for happy people

A future of smart cities promises to make our life easier and more pleasant. Here, as the Convenor of the ISO working group on city indicators, Dr. Patricia McCarney shares her thoughts about the needs of our cities, and why a citizen-centric approach is a smart choice.

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Creating the bioenergy boom sustainably with ISO 13065

by Elizabeth Gasiorowski Denis

A new ISO standard that helps assess the sustainability of products and processes related to bioenergy has a huge potential to tackle climate change, promote energy security and foster sustainable development.

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News archive

Standard for tackling land degradation takes step closer to publication

We live in a world where growing populations, over-development and ever-changing climate patterns are taking a daily toll on the land around us. Droughts, floods, over-cultivation, deforestation, the draining of water supplies, and unsustainable practices in general, are literally pillaging our earth. But a new standard in development aims to help combat that, and has just reached a crucial stage.

My take on Davos and the 4th industrial revolution

Walking the snowy streets of the small Swiss town of Davos, it’s impressive to know that 40 heads of state and 2 500 leaders from business and society are here to talk about some of the most important global challenges facing us today.

How to measure the performance of smart cities

Smart cities make sense: they waste less, offer better quality of life and ensure a brighter future for the next generation. But as more and more communities strive to optimize services and become more sustainable, how can they tell if their actions are making a difference? A new ISO technical specification can help them out.

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