More than 1.4 billion tourists went somewhere last year, and that number is due to grow by 3-4 % by the end of 20191), making tourism one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world.
That’s great for the tourism industry, but it also puts pressure on our planet’s resources. Well managed tourism, however, can help preserve the natural and cultural highlights of any destination, and make a positive impact on the community. Below are just a few of the many ISO standards that can help.
There’s no stemming the tide, so city leaders need to build resilience in order to cope. Work on a new International Standard for urban resilience, led by the United Nations, has just kicked off, aiming to help local governments build safer and more sustainable urban environments.
The development of the standard is being led by UN-Habitat, the United Nations programme for human settlements
City living is where it’s at. The top 600 cities in the world house 20 % of the global population but produce 60 % of the world’s GDP, and the numbers are growing. It is estimated that, by 2050, 68 % of us will be living in cities), increasing the scale of impact when disasters strike. Which they will. In 2018, for example, more than 17 million were displaced by sudden-onset disasters such as floods).
Work has now started on a new ISO standard for urban resilience, aimed at supporting national and local governments build their capacity to face the new challenges arising from climate change and shifting demographics. It will define a framework for urban resilience, clarify the principles and concepts, and help users to identify, implement and monitor appropriate actions to make their cities more resilient.
ISO has recently established a technical committee to support this new business model in reaching its full potential.
A lot has changed in the sharing economy in the ten or so years since the likes of Airbnb and Uber were launched. Then, there were just a handful of platforms, now there are literally thousands, some doing better than others. A few are going bankrupt, while others are worth a fortune, such as Uber, which was recently valued at USD 120 billion).
The sharing economy was born, at least in part, with the spirit of creating communities and reducing over-consumption. While some of that remains, there has also been a sharp shift of focus towards price and convenience, bringing with it as many opportunities as challenges. Consumers may pay less and get new forms of goods, services or experiences, but questions are sometimes raised over privacy, reliability or trustworthiness. There are also issues related to working conditions, providing convenience for some, precarity for others. Some believe that issues such as these are preventing the sharing economy from reaching its full potential.)
The solution is a circular economy, where nothing is wasted, rather it gets reused or transformed. While standards and initiatives abound for components of this, such as recycling, there is no current agreed global vision on how an organization can complete the circle. A new ISO technical committee for the circular economy has just been formed to do just that.
It’s a well-known fact that the rise in consumerism and disposable products is choking our planet and exhausting it at the same time. Before we reach the day where there is more plastic in the sea than fish, something has to be done to ebb the flow. According to the World Economic Forum, moving towards a circular economy is the key, and a ‘trillion-dollar opportunity, with huge potential for innovation, job creation and economic growth’.
A circular economy is one where it is restorative or regenerative. Instead of buy, use, throw, the idea is that nothing, or little is ‘thrown’, rather it reused, or regenerated, thus reducing waste as well as the use of our resources.
But the national or regional rules and regulations that apply to them are reflected in different standards, making international trade a problem. For the first time, an ISO International Standard just published will harmonize them all, enabling safety to improve and the technology to grow.
ISO 8100 Lifts for the transport of persons and goods overcome this by providing internationally agreed requirements that has worldwide approval for use in all economic areas and is compliant with all local legislation.
They started thousands of years ago as manually operated pulleys, such as those operated by slaves in the Roman Coliseum. Now some are breathtaking feats of engineering, such as the Gateway Arch in Missouri. Most, however, are less glamorous and just aim to transport us from one floor to another.
There are three main standards in use around the world to outline the mechanical and operational characteristics of lifts, all arriving at a similar level of safety and quality. However, they all have different requirements, and are tied to the economic area in which they operate, meaning they are not always accepted in other parts of the world.
Newly revised international guidance for electoral organizations will help them do just that, by applying the principles of ISO’s most widely known standard for quality, ISO 9001.
The technical specification ISO/TS 54001, Quality management systems – Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2015 for electoral organizations at all levels of government creates the framework for a quality management system that helps electoral bodies provide more reliable and transparent electoral services. It is based on ISO 9001 Quality management systems with specific sector requirements. It has been recently updated to reflect updates to ISO 9001 to keep it more in line with market needs.
Every electoral body will have its own legal framework based on international and national law, so this is not intended to replace it
Katie Altoft, chair of the ISO technical committee responsible for its development said it is an important tool for electoral organizations because it helps to build confidence in elections through enabling transparency, effective planning and management, and efficiency in electoral processes.
A brand can be a company’s most valuable asset – yet how do you know what it’s really worth? Measuring the value of a brand starts with knowing what to measure – and how.
No-one wants to pay ‘just for the name’ yet branding power means we often do. One of those intangible but valuable things, branding influences the decisions of customers, financial institutions, potential buyers of the business and more. And some brands are worth a lot. Yet not all measures are monetary and there are many different approaches and methods used around the world, which makes true comparisons and benchmarking somewhat tricky.
ISO 20671, Brand evaluation – Principles and fundamentals, aims to standardize the technical requirements and evaluation methods involved in brand valuation. It complements ISO 10668, Brand valuation – Requirements for monetary brand valuation, which focuses primarily on the financial aspects.
How can cities adapt and prepare to ensure they provide adequate resources and a sustainable future? They can’t improve what they can’t measure. The latest in the ISO series of standards for smart cities aims to help.
How ISO 37122, Sustainable cities and communities – Indicators for smart cities, gives cities a set of indicators for measuring their performance across a number of areas
The ISO 37100 range of International Standards helps communities adopt strategies to become more sustainable and resilient. The newest in the series and just published, ISO 37122, Sustainable cities and communities – Indicators for smart cities, gives cities a set of indicators for measuring their performance across a number of areas, allowing them to draw comparative lessons from other cities around the world and find innovative solutions to the challenges they face.
The standard will complement ISO 37120, Sustainable cities and communities – Indicators for city services and quality of life, which outlines key measurements for evaluating a city’s service delivery and quality of life. Together, they form a set of standardized indicators that provide a uniform approach to what is measured, and how that measurement is to be undertaken, that can be compared across city and country.
By setting the standards that frame these initiatives, ISO/TC 207 helps scale solutions to our most urgent environmental challenges.
Just a decade ago, the term “green business strategy” evoked visions of fringe environmentalism and a high cost for minimal good. Recently, however, a new common wisdom has emerged that promises the ultimate reconciliation of environmental and economic concerns.
This new vision sounds great, yet is it realistic? ISOfocus sits down with Sheila Leggett, who began her term in 2018 as Chair of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 207, Environmental management, building on a distinguished career as a biologist, ecologist, industry consultant and environmental legislator. Having served on Canada’s Natural Resources Conservation Board and, later, the National Energy Board, Leggett’s experience is broad and her knowledge detailed.
The first edition of ISO 22301 was launched in May 2012. It was the first truly internationally accepted standard on business continuity, and it consists of requirements to implement a Business Continuity Management System according to ISO Annex SL. As such, it stood in line with its prominent predecessors such as ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC 27001.
When ISO/TC 292 (ISO Technical Committee 292 on SEcurity and Resilience), its workgroup WG 2 – responsible for this standard – first asked within the community about the need to update it, there was an astonishingly little response.
We, as members, could not believe that nobody had the intention or desire to update this international standard. However, all of a sudden, the interest exploded and teh respective Project Team within WG 2 was challenged within an unprecendented volume of change requests concerning ISO 22301:2012.
What’s more, it is mostly grown on smallholder farms in regions of the world that lack adequate infrastructure and offer poor living conditions.
The sustainability of cocoa production, therefore, is a concern. The publication of the ISO 34101 series of standards on sustainable and traceable cocoa provides a valuable tool to support farmers in their journey towards prosperity and sustainability.
ISO 34101-1, Sustainable and traceable cocoa – Part 1: Requirements for cocoa sustainability management systems, aims to help users implement effective practices to allow them to continually improve their business.
Developed by stakeholders from all sectors of the cocoa industry, including representatives from both countries where the cocoa is grown and markets where it is consumed, the ISO 34101 series aims to encourage the professionalization of cocoa farming, thus contributing to farmer livelihoods and better working conditions. It covers the organizational, economic, social and environmental aspects of cocoa farming as well as featuring strict requirements for traceability, offering greater clarity about the sustainability of the cocoa that is used.
The world is currently witnessing disasters and crises that quickly cross borders. As these disasters dramatically increase in frequency, impact, and complexity, organizations need to provide careful planning to achieve the desired prosperity. The organizations should take all the necessary measures to be prepared for overcoming the ever-challenging aspects of disasters and unexpected situations. In addition to recessions, cyber-attacks, and natural disasters, organizations are also threatened by new risks related to public health or supply chain interruptions.
In addition to cyber-attacks and natural disasters, organizations are also threatened by new risks related to public health or supply chain interruptions
Given the continuous change in the causes, triggers, and impacts of disasters, businesses have to prepare protection schemes which help them deal with the unexpected events. Considering that many organizations operate and compete in a global market, businesses cannot afford interruptions of operations, as it will result in huge long-lasting negative impacts.
To avoid such severe impacts, it is important that every organization has a Business Continuity Plan in place. Business Continuity (BC) is the ability of an organization to continue operating during and after a disaster, and the ability to recover within a short period of time. Also, a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is strongly related to contingency, as well as to resilience and recovery.