ISO congress in SeoulDrought and water shortage are not problems limited to Korea. They are global issues, as they are caused by environmental pollution, global warming, population growth and increased energy consumption by emerging economies. In order to resolve the worldwide water shortage and encourage conservation, the concept of “water footprint” was introduced. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed ISO 14046, which provides requirements and guidance for calculating and reporting a water footprint.
A water footprint is the total amount of fresh water utilized directly and indirectly in the overall process of producing, distributing, using and discarding a certain product. For example, the water footprint of a cup of coffee is 143 liters (38 gallons), and 100 grams (4 ounces) of chocolate requires 1,700 liters. As water footprints allow regulation of water consumption, Australia, the United States and Spain have already introduced water footprint certifications, and the European Union has started a pilot program. The Korean government has also designated the water footprint calculation method as a Korean standard (KS). With the KS certification, companies can promote an environmentally friendly image and preemptively respond to the regulations in developed countries.
For six days from Sept. 13 to 18, the General Assembly of the ISO will be held in Seoul for the first time in the 52 years of Korea’s ISO membership. The ISO General Assembly is the highest legislative body developing and operating various international standards used around the world. At this meeting, the heads of 700 standards agencies from 165 ISO members will gather to discuss and develop strategies and direction of international standards in various subjects, including environment and energy.
The Korean Agency for Technology and Standards hopes to provide an opportunity to stress the importance and value of standards to Korean citizens and companies by successfully hosting the event. Moreover, we hope to showcase Korean companies’ outstanding products and technologies to the standards specialists to promote Korea as a global power in international standards. The ISO General Assembly in Seoul is some 50 days away. In the general assembly meeting, countries will conceive better standards and discuss a better future.
Je Dae-shik, Director of the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards