ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 165 national standards bodies.
Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.
Our Story begins in 1946
Friendship among equals
The ISO story began in 1946 when delegates from 25 countries met at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London...
Read more about the first 50 years of ISO (1947 - 1997) in the book:
Friendship among equals [PDF, 1.32 MB]
It's all in the name
Because 'International Organization for Standardization' would have different acronyms in different languages (IOS in English, OIN in French for Organisation internationale de normalisation), our founders decided to give it the short form ISO. ISO is derived from the Greek 'isos', meaning equal. Whatever the country, whatever the language, we are always ISO.
How did we do in 2020?
How many projects did we begin? Which sectors were most active? How many documents did we publish?
Find our key achievements in figures at a single glance.
If you want to know what we achieved in 2019, check out our latest annual report. This includes our high-impact standards, production facts and figures and how we reached standards users around the world. The report also covers the journey that we took, together with our members, to further develop our new ISO Strategy 2021-2030.