In 2012 the World Standards Day theme was Less waste, better results – Standards increase efficiency. The day (14 October) pays tribute to the effort of the thousands of experts worldwide who collaborate within IEC, ISO and ITU to develop voluntary International Standards that facilitate trade, spread knowledge and disseminate technological advances.

It is also a great opportunity to bring standardization to a wider audience and to highlight the role of standards in everyday life.

Educational lunches near Paris

AFNOR, the ISO member for France, introduced standards to employees of neighbouring companies based in Plaine Saint-Denis, just North of Paris.

AFNOR's paper tray mat

On Friday 12 October 2012, 6 000 employees from 12 local companies (including Groupe AFNOR) found a paper mat on their lunch trays highlighting the most prominent standards for the leisure industry. An accompanying document tested diners' standards knowledge with three questions: What would a world without standards be like? What exactly is a standard? How do you make a standard?


Download the information flyer



Copper ingots in Cyprus

On the 1 November 2012, the Cyprus Organization for Standardization (CYS) celebrated World Standards Day and paid tribute to ISO, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) with the presentation of copper ingots.

The ingot received by ISO Secretary General, Rob Steele to celebrate World Standards Day 2012

Copper oxhide ingots (ingots of copper in the shape of a cow hide) were seen in Cyprus between the 16th and 12th Centuries BC. During this period Cypriot copper manufacturers designed a standard shape for the copper ingots to facilitate handling, transport and storage in ships holds and storerooms. In addition, most of the ingots had a standard weight of 25 kg. Furthermore, Cypriot producers introduced a marking system using Cypro Minoan script to indicate that the ingots were made from Cypriot mines that followed standard procedures of production and quality control.

In this respect, the copper oxhide ingots can be seen as one of the oldest model of quality assurance that enabled and facilitated trade between Cyprus and the East.


Going social in Italy

The Italian Organization for Standardization (UNI) chose the 14 October 2012 to launch its communication on social media. For ISO's Italian member, the celebrations for World Standards Day presented the perfect opportunity to increase visibility with new promotional actions and facilitate access to information for new users.

UNI decided to concentrate on Twitter and YouTube.

  • @normeUNI on Twitter was chosen as the place to raise awareness, disseminate information about new subjects, interact on subjects such as public enquiries and consequently recruit new expertise into standardization.
  • @normeUNI on YouTube acts as a “virtual meeting room” where people can watch excerpts of UNI’s seminars and conferences as well as interviews of prominent contributors to the standards community.

World Standards Day 2012 marked an important turning point for UNI, ringing out loud and clear: "Let’s be social!"


Road banners and radio dramas in Malawi

The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) decided to celebrate by bringing the message to the wider population. Banners promoting the Less waste, better results – Standards increase efficiency theme lined the roads of the country's three major cities and a national radio broadcaster produced and aired a radio drama highlighting how standards reduce waste, ensure better results and increase efficiency. In addition, leading national newspapers published a press release to help raise awareness.

Furthermore, MBS cut the price of Malawi standards in half during the month of October in order to help promote wider access to national standards.

MBS also organized a seminar, which brought together representatives from Malawi industry, government officials, non-governmental organizations and many other stakeholders, to reflect on the Day's theme. The event was presided by MBS Chair Mussa Chiwaula.


A day in the life, in the UK

The British Standards Institute (BSI), ISO's member for the United Kingdom, produced a consumer flyer for World Standards Day 2012 entitled A day in the life, which highlighted the importance of standards in every aspect of a person's life.

Download A day in the life


World Standards Day celebrations in 2013

World Standards Day 2013 will be celebrated on 14 October. The theme this year is International Standards ensure positive change. Every year we have a competition to create a poster for the event. An image from the winning poster (designed by German designer Frederica Scott Vollrath) can be seen at the top of this article.

More information on World Standards Day 2013, including the poster, can be found here: World Standards Day 2013.