downloadDATE OF RELEASE: 14 OCT 2020


When do we develop a new standard? It is not decided by ISO, IEC, ITU nor Department of Standards Malaysia but by the respond to a request from industry or other stakeholders such as consumer groups. Typically, an industry sector or group communicates the need for a standard to its national member (Standards Malaysia) who then contacts ISO, IEC or ITU.

Standards are developed by groups of experts from all over the world, that are part of larger group called technical committees. These experts negotiate all aspects of the standard, including its scope, key definitions and content that meets the requirement from the balance stakeholders.

Balance stakeholders are comprising of Government & Regulators, Industry, Consumers and Academician.

Standards promote economic sustainability by facilitating international trade, improving a country’s national quality infrastructure and supporting sustainable business practices.

A quality infrastructure is a system contributing to governmental policy objectives in areas including industrial development, trade competitiveness in global markets, efficient use of natural and human resources, food safety, health, the environment and climate change. They cover everything from efficient farming methods to anti-bribery management systems.

Standards also promote social sustainability by helping countries and communities to improve the health and well-being of their citizens. They cover all aspects of social welfare, from healthcare systems and related products to social inclusion and accessibility.

Another important aspect that Standards is that it promotes environmental sustainability by helping businesses and countries manage their environmental impact.

Standards cover aspects such as implementing an environmental management system, measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, and encouraging responsible consumption.

A number of well-known standards that helps business to improve their operational efficiency and help access to new markets are such as ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), ISO14001 (Environmental Management System), ISO 22000 (Food Safety Management Systems), ISO 45001 (earlier known as OHSAS 18001), ISO 41001 (Facility Management), ISO 50001 (Energy Management Systems), ISO/IEC 27000 (Information Management Systems).

ISO 37001 (Anti-Bribery Management Systems) is the first standard designed to help organisations to combat bribery risk in their own operations and throughout their global value chains.

For food related industry, standards, certification and accreditation have impact on trade and industry. For instance, certification of MeSTI, MyGap, Halal, GMP and HACCP in food processing industry and exports, help reduce costs, promote quality, and improve market access.

The Earth is celebrating World Standards Day 2020, themed “Protecting the planet with standards” on 14 October annually.

Earth, a finite vessel of life in the vastness of our solar system with life on earth depending on energy coming from the Sun. However, over the last century, human and large-scale industrial activities due to our modern civilization have added to the Earth’s natural greenhouse gases.

They negatively impact our climate and with it all forms of life. At the same time rapid population growth and broad urbanization call for the responsible use of limited resources.

To reduce human impact on our planet, we need the political will, concrete action and the right tools. International standards are one such tool. The international standards prepared by IEC, ISO and ITU take into account, tried and true solutions to technical challenges. They help share expertise and expert know-how broadly within developed and developing countries alike.

Standards cover all aspects of energy savings, water and air quality. They lay down standardized protocols and methods of measurement. Their broad use helps reduce the environmental impact of industrial production and processes, facilitates the reuse of limited resources and improves energy efficiency.

Standards help measure achievement, inform instruction and set clear and measurable goals. It is obvious that the role of standards has extended beyond a set of rules to be followed. It needs proper strategy and strong support from Malaysian industry to take ISO, IEC, ITU or Malaysian Standards (MS) to a higher level and meet the current trend of doing business.

Malaysian consumers need to change and give importance to quality rather than quantity in the choices of products, goods and services. For example, masks and sanitizers that are mainly used to protect oneself should be purchased using permitted standards and guidelines to ensure consumers are given the actual product to protect them from the Covid-19 pandemic.

What is your role as a consumer today, to ensure that products, goods and services comply with standards which protect our planet?