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标准化给社会和大众的福祉

发布时间:2011/9/27 18:23:57|来源:|分享到:
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当今时代,全球社会面临着巨大的挑战。交通流量得以巨幅增长,对能源的需求不断攀升,工业化大规模生产的产品在全球范围内流通,不断膨胀的世界人口以及对商品和服务需求的永无止境地增长,这些主要问题的解决都要求良好有序、强有力的国际合作。

联合国千年发展目标是由各成员国共同制定,其目标是促进消除极端贫困、饥荒和疾病。更进一步的,还提到了一些关键性的挑战,如确保环境的可持续发展,以及为发展开创全球合作关系等,并将这些问题提到国际政治议题的较高层次。

这些是在考虑可持续发展领域问题时需要注重的关键性要素中的部分要素,可持续发展致力于同时改善当代和人类后代的福祉。

那么,标准化如何能在这些问题上发挥作用呢?

标准对可持续发展的三大支柱提供支撑:经济要素;环境要素;社会要素。



标准促进了国际贸易并支持在产业、科学、技术、管理和日常生活中的合理化、质量保证、安全以及通讯。标准通过鼓励创新以及支持世界范围内的技术转移对经济发展做出贡献。

标准的应用可以使交易费用得到明显的降低,促进出口行业进入海外市场。并且,标准还有助于在研究与开发方面减少风险和成本。

总而言之,标准化是取得经济上成功的战略性工具。通过参与标准化活动,企业一方面可以为制定具有共识性的标准提供知识和专家。另一方面,也可以通过及时获得信息和知识而取得竞争优势。

标准化工作需要自愿者们做出巨大的贡献。为标准制定工作做出贡献的专家们可能来自于产业界,来自于中小企业、法律机构、政府部门、非政府组织、大学。贸易协会和消费者代表,等等。这些利益相关方参与技术委员会并提供其专业知识。标准化中的一条重要原则是所有利益相关方的利益都能得到公平和平衡的体现,以保证产业界的目标和社会的目标能成为一个整体得到满足。

基于协商一致达成的标准能提供符合成本效益比,具有效率的解决方案。使得新技术可以更快地在市场上出现,因为标准能够清楚地分辨出涉及安全、健康和环境可持续等基本问题。采用以共识为基础的标准生产的产品和服务可以给消费者提供信心。



事实上,全球社会面临的紧迫任务之一是保护地球上日益衰竭的自然资源。

标准化对于环境保护做出重要的贡献。标准对技术性问题提供经过实践检验的,行之有效的解决方案,并通过提供统一的术语、规定实质性技术要求、确定极限参数、设定标准化的测量方法等来促进法规的实施。

标准覆盖了关于空气和水质量控制、噪音控制和能源节约的所有方面。例如, ISO 14000系列标准通过提供关于环境管理问题的通用性基础框架,满足世界范围内各种组织机构在此问题上的需求。它们为确保工业制成品及其生产过程的环境可持续性发挥作用,并促进员工的环境保护意识,最终使得企业尽可能少地使用不可再生资源。

过去数年间,在能源管理领域内也取得了巨大的成就。标准为优化能源使用效率和减少温室气体排放提供了工具和最佳实践方案。



社会政经方面的标准化问题是指那些复杂程度远远超过产品的,事关社会公共福利的全面而复杂的问题和方面。

在过去的几十年间,人类工效领域内的标准化活动的重要性变得越来越显著,并包含了广泛的跨学科的研究领域。为保护工人和改善工作场所的安全性,已经制定了许多标准和指南。例如,已经制定了计算机工作站的人类工效设计原则,以及在涉及心理负荷测量和评估方法方面的准则和要求等。 已经制定了考虑老人和残障人士需求的指南。在机械安全方面的标准化活动中也正在加强对社会因素的考虑。

而且,在一些新的政策领域,如与消费者有关问题,社会责任,以及服务领域等都反映出了社会政经方面的因素。

很显然,标准越来越深入地涉及到可持续发展的各个方面,并发挥着作用。



原则上讲,各国标准化机构(NSB)是对制造商的厂商标准和公共部门、用户技术要求进行协调的全国性论坛。国际标准化则是对各国标准的协调统一并制定出相关文件。政治和经济的持续发展,以及贸易全球化的不断增长已经极大地改变了这种状况。

世界贸易组织 (WTO)已经制定了非政府标准化组织的实践规范-此规范是TBT协议的一部分。简而言之,它指出:

标准化机构应该确保其制定的标准不会对国际贸易形成不必要的阻碍。

当有相应的国际标准,或者即将完成制定之时,标准化机构应该采用它们,作为其制定标准的基础…”



近年发生的许多事件表明,并非所有人都支持全球化的思想。对全球化存在着一种认识,认为它对社会结构、就业和收入有负面影响。

而且,还有人认为全球化对民族认同感、传统以及文化构成巨大威胁。 国际标准化活动必须反映社会政治现实。国际标准需要全社会的支持。

这只有通过在全国范围内展开公开、广泛的讨论才能实现。标准化工作必需的专业知识和驱动力量来自于各国家标准化机构(NSBs),而它们(NSB)标准化活动的知识和动力又来自于各国参与标准化活动的来自公共和私营部门的利益相关方的实践经验。这样的过程是在国际层面达成共识,反映所有利益相关方需求的必要条件。

各国家标准化机构是参与欧洲和国际标准化活动的主要利益相关方的代表。它们明确代表了所有利益相关行业和团体的相关利益,也即,国内产业界、国家政府、中小企业、贸易协会、消费者、环境相关行业和部门的利益。

事实上,显而易见的是各国家标准化机构征求意见和达成共识的程序是保证国际标准合理合法性的唯一基础。

于是,也可以认为,各国家标准化机构是其本国产业界和其他利益相关方的合法代言人。



标准化为社会及人民带来重要的利益。但是,还有许多工作亟待完善。我相信,中国和德国都有充足的实力和动力在应对全球化挑战的过程中扮演积极的角色。



Today, our global society faces significant challenges. A dramatic increase in the volume of traffic, a rapidly expanding need for energy, the global expansion of industrial mass production, a growing world population and an ever-increasing demand for goods and services are major issues which require a strong and well-organized international cooperation.

The Millenium Development Goals were established by the members of the United Nations that particulary promote measures to eradicate extreme poverty, hunger and disease. Furthermore, key challenges such as ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development have been addressed and have thus been given top priority in international politics.

These are some examples of essential factors that need to be considered in the field of sustainable development which is dedicated to improve the well-being of present and future generations.

How can standardardization promote these initiatives?

Standards support each of the three pillars of sustainable development:

l   economic dimension

l   environmental dimension

l   social dimension



Standards promote international trade and support rationalization, quality assurance, safety and communication in industry, science, technology, administration and daily life. Standards contribute to economic growth by encouraging innovation and by supporting the worldwide technology transfer.

The application of standards leads to a clear reduction in transaction costs and facilitates market access for the exporting industry. Moreover, standards can help to reduce the risks and costs involved in Research and Development.

Overall, standardization is a strategic instrument for economic success. Through participation in  standardization activities, businesses on the one hand contribute their knowledge and expertise to the development of common solutions. On the other hand, they can gain a competitive advantage through timely access to information and knowledge.

Standardization needs a strong commitment from volunteers. Experts that contribute to standards work come from industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, national authorities, governments, NGOs, universities, trade unions, consumers etc. These stakeholders participate in technical committees and provide their expertise. An important principle in standardization is a fair and balanced representation of all interested parties to ensure that the goals of industry as well as the goals of society as a whole are fulfilled.

Consensus-based standards provide cost-effective and efficient solutions. New technologies can be placed on the market more rapidly because standards clarify fundamental issues of safety, health and environmental sustainability. The adoption of consensus-based standards provides the consumer with confidence in products and services.



Indeed, one of the most critical tasks of global society is to safeguard the earth's limited natural resources. Standardization makes an important contribution to environmental protection. Standards offer tried and true solutions to technical questions, and facilitate regulation by providing uniform terminology, specifying substantive requirements, defining limit values, and laying down standardized methods of measurement.

Standards cover all aspects of air and water quality control, noise control and energy savings. For instance, the ISO 14000 series of standards address the needs of organizations worldwide by providing a common framework for managing environmental issues. They serve to ensure the environmental sustainability of industrial products and processes and also encourage environmental awareness among employees, thus helping businesses minimize the use of non-renewable resources.

In the field of energy management considerable efforts have been made in the past few years. Standards are providing tools and best practices to optimize energy efficiency and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 



The socio-political aspects of standardization refer to comprehensive issues and matters of public welfare rather than to products.

Standardardization in the field of ergonomics has gained considerably in importance over the last decades and covers a broad multi-disciplinary research area. Standards and guidelines have been developed to protect workers and to improve safety in the workplace. For instance, ergonomic design principles for computer workstations have been developed as well as principles and requirements concerning methods for measuring and assessing mental workloads. Guidelines have been established taking into account the needs of elderly and handicapped people. Social aspects are also considered in standardization activities regarding the safety of machinery.

Furthermore, the socio-political dimension is reflected in new policy areas such as consumer issues, corporate social responsibility, and services.

Evidently, standards very often involve various aspects of sustainability.



Originally, NSBs were essentially the natio­nal forum in which the compa­ny stan­dards of manu­facturers and the technical requirements of private and public users were coor­dinated. International standardization develo­ped recommenda­tions for the gradual harmoniza­tion of national stan­dards. The ongoing political and economic developments and the increasing globalization of trade have changed this situation conside­ra­bly.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has developed - as a part of the TBT Agree­ment - a code of practice for non-govern­men­tal standards organizations. In essen­ce it says:

„The standardizing body shall ensure that stan­dards are not prepa­red ... with the effect of crea­ting unnecessary obstacles to inter­national tra­de.“

„Where international standards exist or their completion is imminent, the stan­dardizing body shall use them, as a basis for the standards it deve­lops...“



Recent events have shown that the idea of globalization is not supported by all citizens. There is a concern that globalization might have a negative effect on social structures, employment and income. Furthermore, globalization is perceived as a threat to national identity, tradition and culture. International standardization has to reflect the political reality. International Standards need the support of the whole society. This can only be reached by a broad discussion at national level. The necessary exper­tise and the driving interest are drawn from the NSBs, which in turn draw on the practical expe­rience of the public and private stake­hol­ders in national standardization. Such a procedure is an essential condition for finding a consensus at international level that reflects the needs of all interested parties.

NSBs are the representati­ves of the major stakeholders of European and international standardization. They have a clear mandate of all interested parties, i.e. national industries, national authori­ties, SMEs, trade unions, consumers, environ­mental interests, etc. Indeed, it should be clear that the national enquiries and the consensus procedures of NSBs are the only basis for the legitimacy of International Standards. Therefore, it has to be recognized that the NSBs are the legitimate voice of their national industries and other stakeholders.



Standardization generates important benefits for people and society. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. I am convinced that China and Germany will have sufficient strength and dynamism to play an active part in providing solutions to the global challenges.
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