Last reviewed 29 September 2021

The International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) has announced plans to embed climate considerations into every international standard it produces.

ISO’s Climate Commitment, titled “The London Declaration”, was approved by ISO members, representing 165 countries from around the world and ensures that all new ISO International Standards and publications accelerate commitment to the Paris Agreement and net zero ambitions. The declaration also applies to all existing standards and will be applied retrospectively as they are revised.

ISO describes this latest climate initiative as “change on an unparalleled scale”. Launching the new commitment, ISO Secretary-General, Sergio Mujica, said the London Declaration will “enable change and spread hope”.

“We are committed to do everything in our power to promote the awareness of the role that ISO standards can play in combatting climate change. We ask the international community now to work together in upholding its intentions and spirit in putting International Standards at the heart of action on climate.”

ISO has produced over a thousand international standards, including those that support climate adaptation and mitigation, and environmental management. Standards play a multi-faceted role in handling climate change, from the strategic and regulatory level to project goals, to making greener products, many of which are explained in our ISO 14000 Series topic.

The new ISO climate commitments were agreed over a three-day virtual meeting, hosted by the UK’s BSI. Commenting on the new direction for international standards, Dr Scott Steedman, Director-General, Standards at BSI said:

“The Declaration will help ensure that climate-friendly standards become the norm across all industries. The sheer scale that standards operate at and the vital role they play for government and industry alike means they can accelerate the achievement of the climate goals.”

ISO has published a Climate Action plan to coincide with the London Declaration, which calls on governments around the world to introduce the policies needed to reduce carbon pollution at a scale and speed that makes a difference.