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Case Studies


The ENERGY STAR programme includes the requirement that test data from third-party laboratories comes from laboratories accredited by signatories to the ILAC Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MRA). The programme is administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but participation is voluntary rather than mandatory. The EPA cites these international arrangements to provide greater assurance to consumers that products carrying the ENERGY STAR label meet strict programme requirements.

The aim of the ENERGY STAR programme is to provide simple, credible and unbiased information that consumers, business and regulators can rely on to make well-informed decisions that save money and reduce emissions.


The case study explores Eco Mark Africa (EMA), which looks to foster sustainable production and consumption, while eliminating conformity assessment issues that may deter trade among African countries and the international community, at large. Led by the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO), the EMA helps to address the detrimental effects of climate change and pressures placed on the continent’s natural ecosystem.


The case study analyses national efforts to strengthen the quality infrastructure for Photovoltaic (PV) systems in desert conditions. When installing solar plants in the Alcatama Desert, Chile implemented two standards: IEC 61215-1:2016 and IEC 61730:1-2016. The study demonstrates how the effective implementation of these standards leads to a longer lifetime of the Photovoltaic modules, while contributing to the achievement of SDG 13.


The case study outlines the role the private sector can play in facilitating the collection of SDGs-related business data by means of impact measurement and sustainability reporting, carried out in accordance with the GRI standards. With a focus on Colombia, the study demonstrates how businesses have advanced significantly by adopting sustainability strategies as well as reporting aimed at measuring and communicating their economic, environmental and social impacts.


The case study demonstrates the efficacy of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) in reducing carbon emissions. With a focus on the Ghanaian market, the study details the application of market intervention policies and the positive implications on the environment and the economy at large.


The case study demonstrates how reference to international standards encourages responsible business practice and penalise environmental degradation. The study examines Italian Legislative Decree 231/2001 which provide a regulatory framework for corporate accountability and how the voluntary application of certification standards (e.g. ISO 45001, ISO 37001) guarantee an exemption of the company’s liability.


The case study outlines how standards on solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies have enabled greater access to modern energy, in a sustainable manner across Tanzania. The study presents the example of a public-private partnership (PPP) given to the development and implementation of solar standards for sustainable energy supply and environmental protection.

United Kingdom

The case study presents sustainable finance as a crucial instrument in the move to the low-carbon economy. Highlighting societal challenges, such as climate change and resource depletion, the study details the work of the British Standards Institute in developing a set of voluntary sustainable finance standards. This programme of works further answers stakeholders calls for efficient standards, which build on existing environmental efforts and initiatives.


The case study demonstrates the development and application of a framework to assess companies’ low-carbon transition. Developed under the Assessing Low-Carbon Transition (ACT) project, the framework and methodologies contribute to the formulation of a series of indicators which build on innovative concepts (e.g. carbon budgets, carbon/asset level data). The study recognises the shortage of verification on compliance and the associated credibility issues which arise in corporate climate action.


The case study explores the collaboration between Singapore and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to implement the key performance indicators on smart sustainable cities. With a focus on the ‘Smart Nation Initiative’, the study details the impact of the pilot project on transitioning Singapore towards becoming a smart nation and to measures its progress towards SDG 11.


The case study demonstrates how the City of Pully (Switzerland) has used the key performance indicators of the United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) to identify the city’s strengths, opportunities for development and challenges. This programme supports several indicators under SDG 11; in particular, SDG 11.3: “By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management”.


The case study demonstrates the use of international design standards in national building regulations. It examines the application of these standards and their objective of ensuring quality and understanding across construction-related activities. The study specifically addresses the application of Eurocodes, which are standards specifying structural design. The Eurocodes are common European standards specifying how structural design should be conducted within the EU and Danish Building Regulation refers to many relevant design standards, including the Eurocodes.


The case study demonstrates how the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) standard (ITU X.1303) and other standards have been used by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (N.O.A.A.) and other national administrations for public alerting in emergencies. The CAP directly contributes to the achievement of SDG Goal 11.b, to “develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels”.

United Kingdom

The case study demonstrates the use of spontaneous volunteers (SV) in disaster scenarios. Following natural disasters in Chile and Argentina, and using lessons from implementing ISO 22319 in the UK, the study – better understand the impact of the standard - presents the results and impacts of interviews held with local government officials from different countries.


The case study explores how the Government of Egypt has used standards such as the ISO 14813-1:2015 on “Intelligent transport systems” to enhance transport safety, security and mobility on a total of 6000KMs of key highways and transportation routes in the country. The study demonstrates key challenges facing governments in achieving interoperability between different ITS components, and the critical approaches to alleviate such problems.


The case study presents the impact of the initial trial – by 98 districts throughout 28 provinces of Indonesia – of the new International Standard ISO 22327 on “Security and resilience -Emergency management - Guidelines for implementation of a community-based landslide early warning system” to strengthen community resilience to landslide disasters.


The case study demonstrates w how the administration of the City of Valencia (Spain) has used a number of standards including ISO 37120 to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) shared on an open platform and dashboards. This allowed breaking information silos in the administration, leading to integrated, transparent and enhanced decision management.


The case study explores how ASTM International Standards on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates have been used in Zambia and the United States to support sustainable concrete construction. Increasing the potential for recycling building materials, reduces the amount of these materials in landfill sites, whilst the codifying of practices allows for the greater use of recycled elements in the construction industry. This contributes to the achievement of different SDG Goals and Targets, including SDG 11.1 “By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing” and SDG 1.6 “By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities”.

United Arab Emirates

The case study presents the vision of the Dubai smart city initiative, “to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city on Earth”. The Initiative focuses on addressing the most pressing urban environmental challenges and transforming the interaction between Dubai’s residents and the environment and the economic and social services provided by its government using the latest technologies. The study examines the application of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Smart Sustainable Cities (SSC), which were developed on international standards created by ITU.

Russian Federation

The case study presents Moscow’s partnership with ITU to implement the United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on smart sustainable cities. These KPIs are based on the Recommendation ITU-T Y.4903/L.1603 on “Key performance indicators for smart sustainable cities to assess the achievement of sustainable development goals”. Moscow utilized these standards to address the three key dimensions of Economy, Environment, and Society and Culture, in compliance with existing international city KPIs.


The case study explores how the Thai Quality Standard on Assessing Village Water Supply Systems (QSVS) - based on WHO Drinking Water Quality Guidelines – was used to develop a self-assessment tool. This tool allows for the collection of structural and non-structural components of village water supply systems, which address challenges and causes of water supply system functioning and performance.


The case study presents how the government of Botswana has implemented standards for waste-water treatment and re-use. To demonstrate the positive impact of re-use, the Department of Water Affairs Headquarters, which used national standards based on international standards, was instructed to treat wastewater discharged from its own headquarters. This study highlights the challenges faced to ensure the continued operation and maintenance of the constructed wetland system.


The case study details how international standards such as the EN 15975- 2 standard (Safety of drinking water supply - Guidelines for risk management and critical events) and ISO 14000 have been used to develop national regulations for mandatory Water Safety Plans to improve prevention and response to water quality and quantity issues.

South Africa

The case study explores how South African standards – (SABS 241), which are based on the WHO Guidelines for drinking water quality - have been used to develop revised indictors that track both the provision of infrastructure and the sustainability of the services for the provision of water supply.


The case study demonstrates how ASTM standards, regarding alternative and renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel for road vehicle use, are used in Peru, the United States and Zimbabwe to reduce the use of fossil fuels. The use of such standards has resulted in an increase in the use of local forms of energy and helped reduce energy imports. The increase of alternative fuels contributes to the achievement of SDG Goal 7.2 “increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.”


The case study demonstrates how standards – in particular, those based on IEC international standards - were used to improve the system of energy auctions. This allowed a substantial increase in the number of compliant projects submitted and a better management of submission, analysis and approvals by the Energy Planning Authority of Brazil.


The case study details how generating green electricity can be utilized in achieving the national social and economic development. The international standards, mainly IEC standards, are introduced in the Solar Energy Plants Grid Connection Code and the Egyptian Transmission Grid Code. This directly contributes to the achievement of SDG 7.2: “By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.


The case study demonstrates how the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) is being used by the National Hydrocarbons Commission of Mexico in order to sustainably develop natural gas deposits, so as to ensure that the national energy policy is well aligned with the SDGs.

Northern Macedonia

The case study details the benefits of effective implementation of an energy management system for industry, by training representatives of the energy teams of several companies in essential implementation of the energy standards in accordance to ISO 50001. This training contributes to the building of national capacities by boosting the awareness of industries that require energy efficiency improvements through structured approaches with clearly defined standards.



The case study demonstrates how international standards on Energy Efficiency have been used by the State Commission of Ukraine on Mineral Resources to conduct a preliminary analysis to promote the development of alternative, nonconventional, energy sources including thermal waters in the region of Carpathia.


The case study explores the collaboration between the Swedish Institute for Standards

(SIS) and the Swedish Energy Agency. The partnerships accelerated understanding of the potential energy savings that the use of standards can bring to the society. In 2018, SIS was awarded funding by the Swedish Energy Agency to run the project: “The application of research and science with standardization in the field of light and lighting for more efficient use of energy and good lighting quality”.


The case study examines the benefits of the systematic use and resort to standards in support of safety in the country’s gas sector. The study details the three main UNI standards which cover the gas sector and gas plants. Consideration is given to the need for efficient monitoring and checking systems.


The case study explores the Spanish Royal Decree (RD) 56/2016 on energy audits and accreditation of energy service providers and energy audits, which partially transposes the European Directive 2012/27/UE on energy efficiency. This decree makes use of the European Standards EN 16247 series on energy audits in a similar way as in the “new approach” legislation.