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Standards that support sustainable development

The life cycle of a manufactured product is typically assumed to consist of a flow of material between a series of processes but there is also a flow of information and interactions with the environment at each stage of the life cycle.  Information management is therefore a crucial part of the management of a product life cycle and there is a requirement for standards to specify this information and how it should be managed.

There are many standards, developed in national, European and international organisations, that support sustainable development. The sections below list some of these standards.   The identification of a Standard is a sequence that contains at least: an acronym or synonym to identify the standards organization, a number, sometimes a year number to identify a version, and a title. This a rapidly changing subject area and the web site of the relevant organisation should be consulted for the most up-to-date references and for the abstracts of the standards.  The copyright of the documents that describe a standard is owned by the organisation that publishes them and is responsible for their maintenance.


British Standards Institution (BSI)

BSI adopts standards published by ISO and CEN and also develops national standards for environmental management and eco-design.  Standards to support sustainable development are listed on the section of the BSI site:  The Future of Sustainability Standards.


Standards published by the British Standards Institution (BSI) that are adopted from standards from the European Centre for Standardization (CEN) or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) use an appropriate combination of more than one organization identifier. 


International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

International standards are developed by Committees of the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) that are identified as: Technical Committee (TC) followed by a number, probably followed by a Sub-committee identifier (SC) with a number, e.g. TC184/SC4.  International Standards are also published at the intermediate stages of their development in order to enable consultation and amendment.  These intermediate stages are indicated by identifiers of the stage preceded by '/'.  The stages are: Working Draft (/WD), Committee Draft (/CD), Draft International Standard (/DIS). A document can be published by ISO that has not obtained the complete consensus of the Committee responsible for its development.  These documents will be identified as a Technical Specification (TS) or Technical Report (TR).

Environmental management  (TC207)

Standards for the general management of the environmental aspects of the life cycle of products, including life cycle assessment

ISO 14001: 2004  Environmental management systems -- Requirements with guidance for use 

ISO 14004: 2004  Environmental management systems -- General guidelines on principles, systems and support techniques

ISO/CD 14006  Environmental management systems -- Guidelines on eco-design

ISO 14040: 2006  Environmental management -- Life cycle assessment -- Principles and framework

ISO 14044: 2006  Environmental management -- Life cycle assessment -- Requirements and guidelines

ISO/WD 14045  Environmental management -- Eco-efficiency assessment of product systems -- principles requirements and guidelines

ISO 14050: 2009  Environmental management -- Vocabulary

ISO/TR 14062: 2002  Environmental management -- Integrating environmental aspects into product design and development

Product data representation and exchange (TC184/SC4)

Standards for the computer-interpretable representation and exchange of product data. The objective is to provide a neutral mechanism capable of describing product data throughout the life cycle of a product and independently from any particular system. The nature of this description makes it suitable not only for neutral file exchange, but also as a basis for implementing and sharing product databases and archiving.

The life time of products is longer that the life time of the software systems that support the design and manufacturing processes.  An independent source of computer-interpretable product information will enable more value to be realised from the product at the end of its life and support the long term management of environmental reports and the storage of hazardous waste.

ISO 10303-203  Edition 2  Configuration controlled 3d design of mechanical parts and assemblies

ISO 10303-210  Electronic assembly, interconnect and packaging design

ISO 10303-214 Edition 3  Core data for automobile design processes

ISO 10303-223  Exchange of design and manufacturing information for cast parts

ISO 10303-235  Engineering properties for product design and verification

ISO 10303-239  Product life cycle support