World Standards Day - the business benefits of standards

Press release - 14 October 2011

Did you know?

Standards create benefits to individuals that are taken for granted every day.

Examples where standards provide real societal benefits both economically and socially:

  • helping business secure and protect customer data
  • ensure energy bills are clear and easy to understand
  • safeguarding children while on the internet
  • help hospitals to stay open through the snow, hail and other conditions
  • service industry identifying and responding to vulnerable customer
  • save energy and money, while protecting the environment
  • enable businesses to continue operating after a major disaster or weather disruption

Credit cards are another great example as standards facilitate data exchange - otherwise one bank's cash machine wouldn't be able to read another bank's card

BSI has been awarding the BSI Kitemark™, one of the oldest and most recognised trust marks in the world to products that make the required grade since 1903

How do Standards add business value?

Standards are not regulatory or government imposed but can be used to help support regulations. They are created as a result of experts, professionals and consumers working together to set them for mutual benefit and ensure high quality

Standards are flexible – they do not need to be implemented across the whole of the business but can be applied to certain sections of the business, where needed

Global research with organisations certified to an environmental management system revealed that 77% believe it helps improve their corporate reputation, 78% improves compliance with legislation and 65% identify cost savings. Source: BSI Business Benefits Survey 2011 – global clients certified to ISO 14001 (07/10/11)

Independent research highlighted that organisations certified to information security standard ISO 27001, saw 87% of respondents having a positive or very positive impact on the business. 39% saw a reduction in the number of security incidents, almost one third (26%) a return on investment and 44% reported an increase in sales and improvement in competitive advantage. Source: International research conducted by Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management in 2011

Consumers benefit, safe in the knowledge that the product or service they are investing in is safe and providing a certain level of expected quality

World-wide standards also enable international trade, giving businesses confidence to reach out to global markets knowing their product will perform globally

Standards are acknowledged by the World Trade Organization as a means of promoting trade through cutting red tape and trade barriers

About Standards
Standards not only promote safer, healthier and more environmentally sound products and services, it also increases customer confidence in the quality and reliability of products and services, and provides a greater selection of goods and services at lower costs

In the UK they have been shown to make an annual contribution to our gross domestic product (GDP) of £2.5bn. Source: The Empirical Economics of Standards, DTI Economics Paper No.12, June 2005

BSI has published over 35,000 current standards covering all operational disciplines from food safety to construction to waste handling and from computing to nanotechnology to sustainable events

BSI is the UK’s National Standards Body and one of the world’s leading developers of standards. BSI has developed 8 out of 10 of the most used and implemented standards worldwide - such as ISO 9001 which was originally based on BS 5750, published in 1979

How are Standards developed?

Standards are developed using a wide knowledge base from industry experts, government bodies, trade associations, businesses and consumers to address industry challenges

UK experts volunteer their knowledge and time to participate in BSI’s committees and contribute to the drafting of standards - nearly 30,000 people take part each year offering input to new or revised standards in the UK alone

Input is widely sought, as all new or revised standards are made available for public comment. This allows input from people who are not on the committee but who may wish to make recommendations and shape the final document

Standards are voluntary and can be verified within organisations either by self-declaration or independent verification. Independent verification where by organisations are issued a ‘certificate of compliance’ gives businesses greater confidence and provides transparency to their claims