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A new ISO guide will help ensure climate change issues are addressed in every new standard.

Never before have we been so aware of our environment as during the recent lockdown period. Birds were singing, the air was clear and skies were bluer than blue. We also became more aware that our current economic model has caused temperatures to rise and that this will continue to create havoc with our weather – and our communities. The resulting climate change is real and we must address its impact by acting now.

With this in mind, ISO’s Climate Change Coordination Task Force (CCC TF7) has recently developed a new guide for standardizers so that climate change is taken into consideration with every new standard that is written. ISO Guide 84, Guidelines for addressing climate change in standards, provides a systematic approach, relevant principles and useful information to help standards writers address climate change impacts, risks and opportunities in their own standardization work.

Nick Blyth [1], Convenor of CCC TF7 that developed the guide, said every industry needs to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“Importantly, Guide 84 can help to raise awareness and understanding across the whole standardization community, not just those involved in sustainable development standards,” he said.

“It is relevant to standards used widely in many industries, thus ultimately helping organizations build resilience and preparedness to future climate impacts as well as addressing low-carbon transition risks and opportunities.  

“What’s more,” he added, “the guide encourages the revision of existing standards if they do not already consider climate change issues, so that there is greater movement towards sustainability everywhere.”

Use of the guide will also result in greater contribution to the achievement of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

ISO Guide 84 was developed by CCC TF7, which is part of ISO’s Technical Management Board, and is a companion to ISO Guide 82, Guidelines for addressing sustainability in standards.

  1. Nick Blyth is a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (FIEMA) and a chartered environmentalist (CEnv).

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