Friday, October 14, 2022, is World Standards Day, and the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) is recognising the collaborative efforts of thousands of experts in Ireland who are contributing to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

To celebrate World Standards Day 2022, NSAI hosted its annual World Standards Day Standards Forum and Awards Ceremony commemorating the work of standards committee members throughout the year.

Innovation, climate action and medical technology

The annual awards ceremony celebrated committee members in fields such as innovation, climate action and medical technology and reflected this year’s World Standards Day theme – 'A Shared Vision for a Better World'.

The event was centred around standards influencing a changing world, helping to shape a better, safer and sustainable future and focused on the work need to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The NSAI develops standards that contribute to reaching the UN SDGs such as reducing our carbon footprint and bettering environmental practice.

The NSAI identifies and prioritises standardisation work in areas related to climate action such as wind energy, solar energy, alternative transportation fuels, heat, transportation electrification, and the circular economy.

The University of Galway-led GEOFIT Project received an NSAI Innovation Award at the event.  The GEOFIT Project is an EU Horizon 2020-funded project, developing innovative approaches to geothermal retrofitting for homes and buildings.

The SDGs, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

These goals are highly ambitious, but through the collaboration of standards experts at an Irish, European and International level, frameworks are being developed to help countries successfully meet these Sustainable Development Goals.

NSAI chief executive Geraldine Larkin said: “NSAI wishes to thank and pay tribute to the collaboration efforts of the experts who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as Irish and International Standards.

"World Standards Day highlights the importance of standards in today’s economic environment, NSAI works closely with businesses to create, adapt and implement standards, recognizing the importance of innovation in our economy but also in reaching our climate goals and contributing to achieving the UN SDGs.”

Reducing our carbon footprint

The NSAI Awards also recognised winners who contributed to the development of standards in areas such as reducing our carbon footprint and bettering environmental practice:

  • Luis Miguel Blanes Restoy, University of Galway was awarded the NSAI Innovation Award for his work on the GEOFIT Project which is the deployment of novel GEOthermal systems, technologies and tools for energy efficient building retrofitting
  • Ian Boylan Chair, CEO, ISO BASELINE was awarded the ISO Excellence Award 2022 for his work on NSAI/TC 59 which is concerned with Energy management and energy savings
  • Gerard Buckley, Senior Utility Consultant & Safety Specialist was awarded the NSAI 1997 Award 2022 for his work on for the co-ordination of standards in Smart Grids, Renewables, Electric Vehicles and Battery Energy Storage.

“The impacts of climate change are profound and are projected to cause even more disruption economically and socially in the coming decades," said Larkin.

"Reducing energy consumption and improving energy efficiency are at the forefront of the global climate change agenda. It is clear to us all that if we are going to tackle issues on a global scale, we all need to be working from the same framework and Standards play a big role in ensuring we are all speaking the same language.”

Many organisations are implementing the UN SDGs into their ways of working and standards can help organisations operate in more sustainable and efficient ways and achieve targets under UN SDG framework.

Standards like ISO 14001 Environmental Management and ISO 50001 Energy Management cover all aspects of energy savings, water and air quality.

They lay down standardised ways of doing things and provide accurate methods of measurement. Their broad use helps reduce the environmental impact of industrial production and processes, facilitates the reuse of limited resources and improves energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency requirements

Standards are not always evident, but they affect every aspect of life, from energy efficiency requirements of household appliances to connectivity of mobile phones.

Standards provide business, government, and society with a solid platform for positive change.  They help enable trade, protect the consumer, and ensure that products and services can be relied upon nationally and across the world.

NSAI is encouraging people to get involved in the development of standards- if you are a researcher, policy maker or industry professional wanting to make a positive impact on our environment, you should consider joining a technical standards committee.

By introducing new concepts and ideas to a standards committee, researchers and innovators can gain professional recognition from industry peers, all while helping to establish a new and improved national norm which could contribute to Ireland’s ambitious climate targets.

NSAI invites members of the business community and the general public to become part of the solution and to get involved in the development of standards by visiting Your Standards, Your Say.