29.10.2021 // General news
Swiss experts actively involved in ISO standard for measuring circularity
ISO standards are not written by «grey eminences» at ISO headquarters, but by experts from business, society and academia. Standards organizations act as a platform for all those different experts. The idea behind this is that the stakeholders themselves know best which standards they need. Through their national standards organizations, experts worldwide can actively contribute to ISO standards or even initiate new standards projects.
There are several ISO standards covering environmental and sustainability topics. The best-known standard is ISO 14001 for an environmental management system. Swiss experts also participate in the development of ISO standards. The Swiss standardization committee INB/NK 174 «Environment and sustainability» of the Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV) is active in the field of environment and sustainability. Chairman René Wasmer is committed to environmental issues, the implementation of sustainability goals and standardization; therefore, he actively contributes to the world of ISO standards with his expertise on environmental topics and standardization. Together with the members of the national standardization committee INB/NK 174, he submits comments on ISO draft standards. A current example is the second version of the draft standard ISO 59020 for measuring and assessing circularity. Measuring and assessing focuses on relevant circularity aspects and targets a comprehensive assessment of circularity (total value in relation to an underlying circular economy application). The contents are complemented with topics such as measurement aspects, indicators and data quality. In addition, annexes with use cases are planned. The standard has met with worldwide interest, and a total of 39 commenting files with 772 individual comments have been submitted. 75 comments originate from 6 experts from the environment of the national standardization committee INB/NK 174 alone.
Expert Nadja Lavanga, consultant at the interdisciplinary consulting company for environment, economy and society intep and member of the standardization committee INB/NK 174, described her commitment: «The circular economy has great potential to embed careful use of resources in production and consumption. Therefore, I am committed to a comprehensive understanding of the circular economy and especially the sustainability perspective in the development of standards.»
René Wasmer, chairman of INB/NK 174, sees the high potential of the circular economy. He explained: «The circular economy has high and increasing relevance regarding climate change, biodiversity and limited planetary resources. Knowing the company’s opportunities and risks in this context and timely identification and implementation of actions regarding extended corporate responsibility for products and services in the life cycle helps to create decisive value for a future-oriented business model and business processes. Targeted cooperation with partners, supply chains and economic actors helps to establish understanding for value-generating circular strategies. International standards such as ISO 59020 help companies and organizations measure and achieve their sustainability goals and circularity performance.»
The working group with the experts working on ISO 59020 is now faced with the challenge of sifting through these comments, assessing them, incorporating them and submitting a draft standard to the standardization committee ISO/TC 323 – Circular economy. In this so-called committee phase, the draft standard will be made available to all ISO members actively involved in circular economy standardization.
The aim is to have the standard ready for final ballot in 2022 and publication in 2023.
You can find additional information here:
News article: Circular economy - Going further or staying put
LinkedIn post: Online-Roundtable – Messung und Bewertung der Zirkularität
LinkedIn post: Global Circular Economy standards of ISO
Website ISO: ISO/TC 323 – Circular economy
You are invited to participate!
Would you like to participate in the international development of standards? By participating in the national standardization committee INB/NK 174 “Environment and sustainability”, you will always be up to date and can keep abreast of how standards are developing in the area of environment and sustainability. As a committee member you will meet other national industry experts and can discuss new draft standards with them. You also have the opportunity to make international contacts. Discover additional benefits of an SNV membership here .