International standards are essential tools for promoting economic activity and international trade. They are used as the basis for improving efficiency and quality, developing new products and services, harmonizing requirements, accessing national and international markets and even creating markets. Economic growth and trade have contributed to an unprecedented decrease in global poverty, while at the same time resulted in an increase in income inequality and environmental degradation, loss of species, pollution of water and air, deforestation and climate change.
International Standards exist to improve the performance of businesses and access to markets, as well as making them socially and environmentally sustainable.
The environmental aspect of sustainability is explained under environment and climate.