International Standards are the backbone of our society, ensuring the safety and quality of products and services, facilitating international trade and improving the environment in which we live in.
Conformity to International Standards helps reassure consumers that products, systems and organizations are safe, reliable and good for the environment.
Economic benefits of standards
Numerous studies have shown that standards boost business and economies. In the UK, for example, standards account for an $8.2bn annual growth in GDP, while in Canada, the use of standards has injected over $91bn into the economy since 1981.
International Standards are strategic tools and guidelines to help companies tackle some of the most demanding challenges of modern business. They ensure that business operations are as efficient as possible, increase productivity and help companies access new markets.
ISO standards help businesses to:
- Cut costs, through improved systems and processes
- Increase customer satisfaction, through improved safety, quality and processes
- Access new markets, through ensuring the compatibility of products and services
- Reduce their impact on the environment.
ISO 9001, for example, has been shown to improve sales, customer satisfaction, corporate image and market share (Manders 2014) and ISO 14001 has been shown to have a positive impact on environmental performance (de Vries et al, 2012).
Businesses also benefit from taking part in the standard development process. A study by AFNOR, ISO's member for France, showed that companies involved in standardization saw an extra 20% growth in annual sales. Read more about the benefits of getting involved in standards development.