Denmark to lead UN collaboration on international standard for SDGs

03. November 2023

Denmark to lead UN collaboration on international standard for SDGs

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) are collaborating to develop an international management system standard for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Denmark is to spearhead the work.

Numerous enterprises aim to work in line with SDGs, but the risk of ineffective solutions and SDG-washing is great. This is why UNDP and ISO, with Danish Standards leading from the ISO side, will work towards developing ISO’s first international management system standard for the SDGs, which will help organizations integrate sustainable development and the SDGs into their internal management systems and decision-making.

Marcos Neto, Director of UN UNDP Sustainable Finance Hub commented:

- Standards touch almost all aspects of our daily lives and work, providing structure so we can create meaning that helps us function more efficiently and effectively.” He added, “The ISO-UNDP partnership brings together two highly recognised and respected organizations that have broad international presence and influence in their spheres. We look forward to collaborating with them on this meaningful initiative to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

ISO and UNDP have chosen to join forces to develop the standard against the backdrop of a Danish proposal for an international SDG management standard, which is to facilitate the work to achieve the Global Goals in a meaningful and systematic manner and create a common basis for documentation and verification.

Many enterprises have been asking for a common methodology to work towards the SDGs and the possibility of obtaining certification. This initiative aims to meet that need, making it easier to align their efforts and document that they are making an actual difference. Furthermore, this will increase credibility because their efforts will be able to be verified by an accredited third party, says Jens Heiede, CEO of Danish Standards, while emphasizing that the standard also will be an effective tool for enterprises operating in the EU under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), as well as in the global market, and wanting to move from compliance and reporting to decision-making and action.

Denmark leads the way

Denmark is chairing the international work to prepare the future standard.

– As a small innovative country, we are good at finding common solutions and necessary compromises. And with Denmark leading the work, we have an even better chance of putting good Danish solutions on the table and ensuring a high level of ambition for the final standard, says Jacob Færgemand, Country Chief Executive Nordics at Bureau Veritas, and international chairman of the work on the SDG standard.

Today there are more than 400 different private schemes in the field of sustainability. The ISO/UNDP standard guides businesses and investors on their sustainability journeys by integrating the SDGs into decision-making processes to manage both positive and negative impacts on people and planet while still taking care of profits. By having robust sustainable management practices, organizations will find it easier to adapt to the requirements from the EU, Danish law, and customers.

Knowledge sharing can enhance sustainability levels globally

The work to develop the standard has just begun, and all Danish enterprises and organizations interested in this field are offered the possibility to participate.

Consequently, all relevant stakeholders will be involved in the work to develop the standard, ensuring a broadly anchored and recognised basis. This means that we can learn even more from each other's experiences and to a greater extent disseminate the good solutions globally. Moreover, the standard will be built upon UNDP’s SDG Impact Standards which have been available for a couple of years.

Read more here:



Kasper Hillgaard Mühlbach
Kasper Hillgaard Mühlbach Chefkonsulent | Chief Consultant
Sekretariater, udvalg og netværk I
T: 39 96 62 41

Se også

Future EU legislation on AI and the important role standards play

27. November 2023

Future EU legislation on AI and the important role standards play

See or rewatch this webinar where you will gain insight into the standards that are being developed for Artificial Intelligence and which will play a major role for the companies’ implementation of the demands laid down in the future AI Act.

16. November 2023

How can standards support the future European wind energy sector?

Discover the challenges and sustainability developments in the wind power sector and how the European Commission's Wind Power Action Plan and standardization efforts can drive renewable energy deployment in Europe.

For a whole week, safety of electrical products will be on the international agenda

06. June 2023

For a whole week, safety of electrical products will be on the international agenda

One hundred experts from 33 countries will meet in Copenhagen next week to reach a consensus on comments on no less than 73 draft standards on consumer safety in electrical products, covering everything from kitchen appliances to electrically oper...

30. May 2023

Circular economy standardization and ecodesign

Watch or replay this webinar where you will learn more about the ideas behind circular economy standardization in extension of the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR).