Oscar Wilde wrote: "We Are Made One with What We Touch and See".
This quotation embodies the reason why CENELEC promotes sustainability. Since we place the well-being of society first, and have for a long time understood and recognized the value of a sustainable world in our daily lives as well as for the future of our generations, CENELEC endeavours to bring sustainability to the process of standards development, such as in the fields of smart meters, smart grids, green data centres, etc. This pledge is also reflected in CENELEC's 2010-2013 strategy: 1.1.2 To support sustainable innovative standardization activities through the integration of green and innovation-led aspects improving the efficiency in the use of energy.
Sustainability has given an impact to standardization that goes far beyond merely the facilitation of trade, and technical specification. CENELEC works for a more sustainable industry, and has a crucial role to play in helping to improve environmental performance, and therefore the global human impact on biodiversity.
Sustainability brings together dimensions (environmental, economic and social) that are interconnected, and standardization becomes an important contributor in joining the movement of call to action, working when and where necessary together with political players.
Standardization and sustainable energy
Addressing climate change and protecting the environment are some of the main and most urgent challenges of today. Energy is a driving force of our society and its production has a key impact on climate change. Rethinking the way we produce and consume energy is an important part of the solution towards a sustainable energy future. Since the 1980s, the EU through its policy and legislation has supported renewable energy. The European Union has given itself the mission of providing Europe with a cleaner, more secure and more competitive energy future. With the final adoption of Europe's Climate and Energy Package by the European Parliament on 17 December 2008, the EU is on track to put words into action. This package legally binds the EU Member States to reach the so-called "EU 2020 targets": by 2020, the Member States shall cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20%; establish a 20% share for renewable energy; and improve energy efficiency by 20%. Europe is now a leader in the fight against climate change and is ready to go even beyond those targets if an international agreement is to be reached in the next years.
Standardization has an important role to play in order to support EU legislation and to help the Member States in the implementation of environmentally friendly measures to reach the EU "2020 targets". The political commitment needs contribution from all the societal actors and CEN-CENELEC are determined to do their share to help reach these targets by contributing to the promotion of greener standardization.
Using a greener energy is a win-win opportunity as it not only tackles climate change and protects the environment, but also means an increase in competitiveness, new export opportunities and economic growth. Following the path of a sustainable energy boosts the development of new technologies, and creates a need for a knowledge-based industry, providing the business community with long-term stability. In this time of economic crisis, sustainable development is the solution for the health of both our planet and the European economy. A greener standardization will open new markets to our industry and increase its competitiveness in the international arena.
Sustainability conveys standardization towards the path of innovation and competitiveness.