Standards Increase Economic Growth and Help Companies Access Foreign Markets

Standardisation is a key to a well-functioning, economically prospering and sustainable society. It is also a way to increase economic growth. These conclusions can be made from the results of the new study “The Influence of Standards on the Nordic Economies”.

Standards Increase Economic Growth and Help Companies Access Foreign Markets

A STUDY on the impact of standardisation was conducted in the five Nordic countries, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. In total 1,179 Nordic companies in different industries with prior experience from the use of standards took part in the study.

One of the most important findings of it is that standardisation was associated with 28 percent of GDP growth in the Nordic countries between 1976 and 2014. The value of standards derives mainly from increased productivity and efficiency. The study shows, for example, that doubling the stock of standards in an economy is associated with an increase of 10.5 percent in labour productivity. On average, standardisation is associated with an annual increase in labour productivity of 0.7 percent per year.

- The efficiency and economic gains that companies get from standardisation reflect highly to the welfare of each country. When companies are prospering and effective the customers – the citizens – get the best quality in products and a well-functioning society. Standards can also guide companies to operate more ecologically and with solid processes, says Thomas Idermark, CEO at SIS, Swedish Standards Institute.

New markets and business plans

The business survey also reveals that following and applying standards is an important part of Nordic companies. The most important reason for companies to use standards is to improve market access (34 percent of respondents), improve product/service quality (32 percent of respondents) and manage risks (26 percent of respondents). Companies experience similar benefits of standards independently of which country they operate from.

Standardisation also plays an important role when companies make their future business plans, state a large majority (87 percent) of the respondent companies. Standards are emphasized as a good means to follow technical development. The result is robust across sectors, although regarded as particularly important by companies operating within seafood and fisheries (73 percent), ICT (67 percent) and trade (65 percent).

The survey data indicates that the use of technical standards is of high importance especially for manufacturing industry companies. Nearly all the companies in the sector (98 percent) report that they use technical standards. Examples of these kinds of standards are standards for machine safety, personal protective equipment (PPE), electrical installations, inter-process communication (IPC) or standards for testing.

The survey data also indicates that the use of technical standards increases innovative activity in the sector. (See Figure 1).

Click Image to Enlarge
36_1

Figure 1: In what way do standards affect your company's ability or willingness to develop innovative solutions?

 

De jure vs de facto standards 

De jure standards are formal standards – standards developed by official standardization organizations .These organizations can be global (like ISO and IEC), regional (like the European CEN, CENELEC, ETSI) or national (like SFS, SIS, DS, SN, IST etc.) and have been given formal recognition to produce formal standards. Use of de jure standards is voluntary.

De facto standards are standards that are not developed by one of the above-mentioned recognized bodies, but gain prominence through widespread use rather than official endorsement. De facto standards can be developed by consortia or fora, where the development process is more or less similar to the formal standardization process by e.g. being consensus-based and including public consultations. These types of de facto standards are often developed by standards developing organizations (SDOs). In other cases, de facto standards are developed by one organization or a closed circle of organizations, or simply as a result of one or more companies’ products being so influential that they become a ‘standard’ in themselves.

Source: “The Influence of Standards on the Nordic Economies” –report.

Nina Garlo-Melkas

R&D | 24.10.2018

Latest articles

Wärtsilä software will enable a new Simulation Centre to meet needs of cruise, ferry and superyacht clients

The technology group Wärtsilä is to supply and configure the software solutions for a new, state-of-the-art, purpose built simulation centre.

R&D | 20.5.2019

Safe chemical storage is essential for safety, health and business prosperity

Many industries use and store dangerous chemicals, and the chemical waste produced. Storing these substances safely is essential to protect workers’ health, the environment, and the public from the effects of potential chemical spills and gas emissions. In this article the European Union information agency for occupational safety and health, EU-OSHA, gives tips on how to keep workers safe and healthy.

HSE | 16.5.2019

Safe and sustainable airport maintenance with tractors

Robotic vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers are already a reality, but can the same idea be applied to a 7-ton machine clearing an airstrip from snow? Valtra and Nokian Tyres partnered up with three other Finnish companies for a joint proof-of-concept project at the European Union’s northernmost airport. 

Applications | 15.5.2019

Maintenance Performance and its Measurements

Maintenance performance can be difficult to measure.  But, measurements drive behavior and it is therefore important to think through what to measure.  The measurement should be designed in order to achieve the following:

Asset Management | 25.4.2019

Implementing RCM? 5 Mistakes You Need to Avoid

If you are considering to employ  RCM analysis  at your facility, it means you have recognized the need for a change in your maintenance strategies. Reliability-centered maintenance is an excellent way to keep your plant or machinery up and running by helping you choose the optimal maintenance strategy for all of your important assets. 

Cmms | 19.3.2019

Save Energy in Steam and Condensate Systems

The oldest paper mill still operating in Germany detects defective steam traps with digital ultrasonic testing technology

Partner Articles | 15.3.2019

Time to Invest in Europe’s Water Infrastructure

THE WATER AND SANITATION sector is an important part of the European economy. It represents more than 500,000 people directly employed in water and sewerage companies, operating thousands of facilities and several million kilometres of networks.

Editorial | 14.3.2019

Maintenance: A Necessary and Important Function in the Future

Euromaintenance 2016 will take place in Athens at the end of May. It is the ideal moment to reflect on maintenance in a European context. Euromaintenance is known as the summit for all involved in maintenance across Europe, it’s the place to be. The conference, with the support of the EFNMS, is the only commercially independent conference covering the topics we deal with in the maintenance world.

EFNMS | 20.5.2016