Standards may be viewed either as a strict yardstick, or as the key to complete freedom. Whatever your view, standards ensure that society functions a bit more smoothly, without our even thinking about it.
Rent a car in New Delhi, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam or Jönköping, you take it for granted that the accelerator will be on the right of the brake pedal, in the same way that you assume the clutch will be on its left. As they always are. In exactly the same way that a sheet of A4 paper always fits your printer, ring binders or folders. The list could go on and on. Some may certainly view this as a stringent imposition. But many of us would probably agree that it is mainly about freedom – and about making daily life easier.
Standards reduce accidents
Standards make life easier for us all. But standards are just as much about safety in the community. Take a children’s playground, for instance. How can we design it to be safe as well as fun? These are the sorts of issues addressed by those who participate in our projects, to develop standards that can be applied throughout Europe. In the same way, we develop standards for machine safety, scaffolding and the transport of dangerous goods. When things function smoothly, they make day-to-day living safer.
Can the environment be standardized?
SIS develops standards that help us take care of our environment. This is partly to make it easier for companies to become more environmentally aware, and partly because many are keen to shoulder the responsibility. ISO 14000 comprises a series of international standards concerning management of the environment that are designed to establish routines enabling companies and other organizations to implement consistent environmental programmes. This makes it possible to maintain active, efficient and ongoing environmental programmes – with respect to specific issues such as the need to conserve environmental resources and reduce waste management costs, as well as protecting the environment at large.
And a better environment means a better life for all of us – so everything is interconnected!