During a forum hosted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), participants discussed how quality infrastructure plays a crucial role in the delivery and implementation of the United Nation’s (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Specifically, Quality Infrastructure is the collective term for Standardization, Testing and Measurement, Certification and Accreditation.
The Chair of ISO Technical Committee for occupational health and safety management (ISO/TC283), Group Technical Assurance and Quality Director at Lloyd’s Register, Martin Cottam, focused on the fact that standards ensure the safety and health of the workplace, the physical conditions in the working environment, and the safe design of plant and equipment, contributing to the fulfilment of SDGs 3 (Good Health & Wellbeing) and 8 (Decent Work & Economic Growth).
[The SDGs, to which 193 governments around the world have signed up, form the backbone of the UN’s 2030 Agenda which is aimed at increasing economic prosperity and social well-being on a global level.]
Mr Cottam added that except the SDGs that are adopted by countries and governments, companies can support the accomplishment of the SDGs, by using environmental management and health and safety management standards to help improve performance.
If more businesses around the world adopted these standards, it would both show support for this important UN initiative and would help the individual companies deliver improved performance and strengthen their bottom line.
Overall, the environmental management standard ISO 14001 and occupational health and safety management standard ISO 45001 relate to many of the SDGs including helping drive a commitment to clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; developing industry, innovation and infrastructure and reducing environmental impact.
The ISO 14001 is a standard, internationally agreed, that presents the requirements for an environmental management system. It is directly linked to eight out of the 17 SDGs.
In addition, the ISO 45001 sets out the key features of a management system for occupational health and safety management system, to protect employees from injuries, and is directly linked to SDGs 3 and 8.