Sustainable development of communities standard is published

1 August 2016

BSI, the business standards company has published BS ISO 37101:2016, Sustainable development in communities — Management system for sustainable development — Requirements with guidance for use

In a fast-changing world, ensuring cities and communities are fit for the future is a key priority for many city leaders. Providing sustainable energy supplies, coping with environmental and climate changes, building and maintaining durable infrastructures and meeting the needs and expectations of citizens are just some of the considerations to be made. BS ISO 3701 has been developed to help city leaders set their city's sustainable development agenda.

The UK has already developed similar guidance in the shape of BS 8904:2011 Guidance for community sustainable development which is suited to local grass roots organizations, with this standard contributing towards the development of BS ISO 37101.

The international standard sets out requirements and guidance to attain sustainability with the support of methods and tools including smartness and resilience. It can help communities improve in a number of areas such as:

  • Developing holistic and integrated approaches instead of working in silos (which can hinder sustainability)
  • Fostering social and environmental changes
  • Improving health and wellbeing
  • Encouraging responsible resource use and achieving better governance

David Fatscher Head of Market Development for Sustainability and Services at BSI said: “As societies grow and populations within a community increase in density, more thought has to be put into the sustainable development of those communities. This is not just about population size but also the economic, social and environmental issues that a community faces. Whilst previous guidance has enabled individuals to take control of their communities locally, from improving social and economic opportunities to protecting the local environment, this international standard takes a broader view. City leaders can be at the forefront of any decisions that impact their communities and now have the guidance they need to implement changes to benefit their environment in multiple ways.”

BS ISO 37101 was first proposed by the French National Standards Body, Afnor to reflect the interests of the construction and services industries. In accordance with the normal collaborative ISO practices, each country submitted their comments to their country representative for consideration by the ISO committee. Outreach and liaison was established with the Global City Indicators Facility and the United Nations Environment Programme. This included harmonizing work being done in ISO on city indicators and smart infrastructure.

Some of the other countries involved in the development of BS ISO 37101 include: Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Sri Lanka and USA.

BS ISO 37101 will be able to help city CEOs, sustainability officers, smart city managers and compliance managers, policy advisors, NGOs and consultants plan their city’s long term sustainability agenda.