SDG 7: implementing ISO standards for more affordable and green energy

Fossil fuels continue to predominate our daily energy consumption. Although the polluting impact these have and the growing scarcity of resources everywhere have raised serious concerns, swift action has not been forthcoming. The United Nations wants to change this through SDG 7 which focuses on more affordable and green energy. By implementing these ISO standards, you can get off to a flying start.  

What is SDG 7?

In setting its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the UN laid down no less than 17 priorities for creating a sustainable world by 2030. Each SDG highlights a current issue and has specific aims. For instance, SDG 7 focuses on the energy problem and aims to ensure affordable and green energy for everyone. It also focuses on energy efficiency. 
Organisations which commit to this will be giving themselves a huge competitive advantage because smart energy management leads to lower energy bills and allows you to keep your ecological footprint under control. The green energy sector will also create new jobs and ensure economic growth.


SDG 7 in numbers


In 2017, sustainable energy accounted for 9.1% of the total energy consumption in Belgium – just 0.4% more than in 2016. At this rate, it will be 227 years before we achieve 100% green energy. 

10.3 millions

In 2017, the green energy sector created 10.3 million jobs worldwide. 


Fossil fuels are the main cause of climate change. Scientists estimate that energy-related pollution is responsible for 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. 


What is the importance of standards for SDG 7?

At an international level, Belgium is lagging behind when it comes to green energy and a lot of organisations still have major steps to take in order to develop a smart energy policy. However, the building blocks for taking on both challenges are already in place as there are numerous international ISO standards which tackle the energy problem. There are currently no less than 200 ISO standards already providing a framework for energy efficiency and green energy, and there are many more still under development. 

A few of the benefits are outlined below: 

  • ISO 50001 – the energy standard that is implemented the most – gives organisations a framework within which to make energy management a strategic goal. This standard is also certifiable. 
    The benefit for you? Lower energy costs, more environmentally-friendly options and a forward-looking energy policy. 

  • ISO standards will lead to more energy-efficient electrical appliances and promote the green energy sector. 
    The benefit for you? Lower energy bills for consumers, more energy options to choose from and more jobs. 

  • ISO standards can help authorities compile legislation and promote innovation through the sharing of ‘best practices’. This will enable environmentally-friendly technologies to be created quicker.  
    The benefit for you? The achievement of (inter)national environmental and energy objectives. 


Which standards can help to achieve SDG7?

The following ISO standards support the international project to alleviate the energy problem by 2030:

  1. ISO 50001:2018 
    Energy management systems – Requirements with guidance for use 

  1. ISO 14001:2015 
    Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use 

  2. ISO 14064-1:2018 
    Greenhouse gases – Part 1: Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals 

  1. ISO 52000-1:2017 
    Energy performance of buildings – Overarching EPB assessment – Part 1:  

  1. ISO 50047:2019 
    Energy savings – Determination of energy savings in organizations 

  1. ISO 17741:2019 
    General technical rules for measurement, calculation and verification of energy savings of projects 

  1. ISO 17742:2019 

    Energy efficiency and savings calculation for countries, regions and cities 

  1. ISO/IEC 13273-serie 
    Energy efficiency and renewable energy sources 

  1. ISO 14025:2006 
    Environmental labels and declarations – Type 3 environmental declarations – Principles and procedures 

  1. ISO 50015:2019 
    Energy management systems – Measurement and verification of energy performance of organizations – General principles and guidance 


How should you go about implementing standards?

NBN can help you to put the SDGs into practice within your company or organisation. Purchase standards, take one of our training courses which will give you an insight into certain standards, and/or join standards committees and let your voice be heard. . 
  • Are you interested in purchasing one or more standards? You can do that via the e-shop or your personalised standards catalogue in myNBN
  • Would you like to broaden your knowledge through training? Send us an e-mail at or call 02 300 78 52. 

Here is a selection of what we have to offer: 


  • Want to participate in the development of standards? Then take part in one of our committees. Contact us via or 02 300 78 53. 

You can register as an expert and participate in a commission on the circular economy in June 2019.