Underpinning sustainable development

IEC work contributes to all 17 SDGs. It provides the foundation for sustainable economic development

The IEC and the Sustainable Development Goals

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.

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.


CEOs for SDGs

Their vision for the UN SDGs and where IEC Standards and certification fit in

IEC Strategic Dialogue on SDGs

How corporate strategy leaders and sustainability officers are contributing to the UN SDGs with the help of IEC International Standards

IEC for SDGs

IEC will undertake a campaign to help the IEC community, as well as external stakeholders, better understand...

How IEC Standards work for SDGs

Behind the scene

IEC International Standards are used by technical experts to design, build and manufacture devices and systems. They guide installers and inspectors in their work. Safety, energy efficiency, reliability, etc. are built into products and devices from the start. At the end of the day, without having to do anything, all these devices and systems can be used by consumers, commercial enterprises, and the public sector. 
IEC Standards also form the basis for testing and certification. Before a product is shipped, it is normally tested to ensure that it is safe to use and works as it should in line with the requirements in the standard. Testing can be done by the manufacturer or by independent test laboratories, such as those that are members of the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems.
In the context of an overall quality and risk management framework, governments can adopt international standards and mandate that products or devices that enter the national market, or are produced nationally, must have been tested to them. This approach ensures the safekeeping of populations and the environment. By following these international standards, national manufacturers, are better able to compete globally and they have better access to world-wide know-how which in turn facilitates innovation.



Small and big companies are able to design and build innovative solutions in support of SDGs. IEC International Standards allow companies to build consistently safe, efficient and affordable products and systems that are accepted everywhere in the world.


Regulators and policy makers can rely on IEC International Standards to set the safety, security and reliability requirements for quality infrastructure in energy generation, water management, healthcare, education, transportation, manufacturing, and more. IEC work supports good governance and allows regulators to enforce legislation that helps protect populations from unsafe products and environmental or health hazards.

IEC International Standards provide the technical foundation that allows countries to increase national innovation and economic productivity, as well as upgrade and retrofit cleaner and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes.
IEC CA Systems allow governments to verify that systems are properly installed, manufacturer promises are kept, and consumers are protected from dangerous and counterfeit products.


Consumers benefit from more efficient, affordable and reliable energy services, safer and more abundant food and water supply, modern healthcare and overall safer and more secure products and infrastructure.