March 4 marks the second annual World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development (WED). UNESCO created the international day in 2020 to celebrate the achievements of modern engineering and to draw attention to the importance of technology for sustainable development.
“Technology is a big game-changer,” says Vimal Mahendru, the convenor of an IEC task force related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a set of ambitious targets aimed at tackling poverty, hunger, climate change and other global problems.
“Across the world, it [technology] has lifted people out of poverty. Going back 130 years when, for the first time, Thomas Edison brought electricity to a small part of New York, technology has been the cornerstone of economic development and, as a consequence, has improved our lives through innovation.”
IEC International Standards and IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems contribute to all of the 17 SDGs. They provide the foundation that allows all countries to put in place sustainable, resilient infrastructure to stimulate economic development and innovation and apply global best-practice to manage quality and risk.
Energy, and especially electricity, is the common thread of the SDGs, and intrinsically related to the development of every nation and economy. IEC work provides the technical foundation for the entire energy chain and all equipment that is driven by electricity.
It improves the safety of devices, workers and populations, as well as enabling energy efficiency gains and increasing the resilience and long-term viability of infrastructure.
The four IEC conformity assessment schemes test and certify that products and services meet IEC standards. The schemes cover electrical equipment and components (IECEE), equipment for use in explosive atmospheres (IECEx), quality assessment for electronic components (IECQ) and equipment for renewable energies (IECRE).
IEC International Standards embody global consensus on methodologies, processes, and specifications and are often used in regulations. They enhance access to technology and innovation, promote the development, transfer, and dissemination of environmentally sound technologies, and facilitate participation in global trade.
“IEC expertise can play a crucial role in protecting the environment and building a better future for the whole of humanity,” IEC President Shu Yinbiao told last year’s 84th General Meeting.
“We are supporting the transition to a less carbon-intensive, more sustainable energy system. At the same time, our ground-breaking work on low voltage direct current (LVDC) is addressing the need to bring affordable and clean electricity to the nearly one billion people who currently go without”.
This is reflected in the mission of the IEC to ensure the safety, efficiency, reliability and interoperability of electrical, electronic and information technologies, to enhance international trade, facilitate broad electricity access and enable a more sustainable world.
Happy World Engineering Day!
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