In 2015, the United Nations agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to make the world a safer, more peaceful and prosperous place, for all. International Standards and conformity assessment are playing a significant role.
Energy, and especially electricity, is the common thread of the SDGs, and beyond that, the development of every nation and economy. IEC work provides the technical foundation for the entire energy chain and all equipment that is driven by electricity.
It improves the safety of devices, workers and populations, as well as enabling energy efficiency gains and increasing the resilience and long-term viability of infrastructure.
IEC also operates four conformity assessment schemes, which test and certify that products and services meet IEC standards. The schemes cover electrical equipment and components (IECEE), equipment for use in explosive atmospheres (IECEx), quality assessment for electronic components (IECQ) and equipment for renewable energies (IECRE).
In the current issue of the IEC e-tech magazine, we look at how IEC standardization already contributes towards achieving many of the SDGs. For example, virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR) are used increasingly in education (science, maths and languages) and workplace training (surgery, disaster response and maintenance of power plants).
In our article Digital learning is redefining education, we discover how standards enable interoperability of soft- and hardware systems, allowing educators and trainers to tailor teaching to the learner’s needs and preferences, as well as broadening access to education (SDG 4 Quality education).
As growing populations require more electricity, energy providers are increasing the percentage of cleaner, more affordable renewables into the mix. We look at some of the challenges faced and how IECRE certification of solar PV systems limits risks, encourages investment and instils confidence across the industry (SDG 7 Affordable and clean energy).
Last year, storms and extreme weather wreaked havoc on many continents, leaving urban and rural areas without power and many vital services. In our article Recovering from disasters, we learn how IEC standards help strengthen disaster resilience of infrastructure, through built-in safety mechanisms and processes, for example, by including external environmental conditions in the design requirements (SDG 13 Climate action).
Read e-tech here.