SDG 9: which standards boost sustainable industrialisation, infrastructure and innovation?

Half of the world’s population lives in urban areas today, but this does not mean that citizens of developing countries have access to the same facilities as we do in the West. On the contrary, basic infrastructure in developing countries is anything but sufficient. While Belgium has no major problems with its basic facilities, there is margin for improvement in terms of the country’s infrastructure. Our road infrastructure must be improved to tackle structural congestion, for example. Investing in better waste recycling infrastructure is also a crucial requirement of a sustainable economic model.


What does SDG 9 stand for?

With SDG 9, the United Nations provides a framework useful in building resilient infrastructure that promotes inclusive and sustainable economic growth and fosters innovation. This means modernising existing infrastructure and investing in new infrastructure that protects us against environmental and natural disasters. Thanks to modern technologies, we can limit the negative effects of economic growth on the environment. 


SDG 9 in numbers

4 billion

More than 4 billion people have no access to the internet. 

2.6 billion

2.6 billion people have no access to electricity.

2.5 billion

2.5 billion have no access to sanitary facilities.

1 to 1.5 billion

1 to 1.5 billion people do not have a properly functioning phone line. 

800 million

800 million people have no access to safe drinking water.


What is the importance of standards for SDG 9?

International ISO standards provide a framework for sustainable economic growth and help establish specific action plans to this end. They boost investor confidence by creating an environment that supports successful products and services. 

  • ISO standards are the equivalent of a universal language that removes technical barriers to international trade. Developing countries will find it easier to compete in the world market as a result. 
    Your advantage? Greater international cooperation. 
  • ISO standards set standards for business and sustainable partnerships. ISO 44001: Collaborative business relationship management systems – Requirements and framework, among others, provides a platform to optimise cooperation and helps organisations establish healthy internal and external business relationships. 
    Your advantage? Establish sustainable partnerships. 
  • ISO standards can help build safe and resilient infrastructure. There are over a thousand standards for the construction industry alone, containing international guidelines and specifications. Together, they provide rich information about health and safety and performance, as well as methods to test resilience. 
    Your advantage? Safer and more sustainable construction. 
  • ISO standards control opportunities for cooperation. This attracts investments and provides support for innovation. ISO will soon provide a thoroughly tested framework to help organisations maximise their innovation potential. ISO 50501 and ISO 50503 will offer practical tools for innovative partnerships. 
    Your advantage? More guidelines and resources for innovative cooperation. 


Which standards are essential to SDG 9?

ISO standards provide support for the development of resilient infrastructure, inclusive and sustainable growth, and innovation. These are the 10 most crucial standards in this framework: 

  1. ISO 9001:2015 
    Quality management systems – Requirements 
  2. ISO 9004:2018 
    Quality management – Quality of an organization – Guidance to achieve sustained success 
  3. ISO 14001:2015 
    Environmental management systems Requirements with guidance for use  
  4. ISO 19011:2018 
    Guidelines for auditing management systems 
  5. ISO 19600:2014 
    Compliance management systems – Guidelines 
  6. ISO 26000:2010 
    Guidance on social responsibility
  7. ISO 31000:2018 
    Risk management – Guidelines 
  8. ISO 45001:2018 
    Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use
  9. ISO 55000:2014 
    Asset management – Overview, principles and terminology 
  10. ISO 55001:2014 
    Asset management Management systems – Requirements 


How should you go about implementing standards?

The NBN helps you to put the SDGs into practice in your company or organization. Purchase the standards, follow one of our training courses that provide insight into certain standards and/or participate in committees on Sustainable Development Objectives and make your voice heard.
  • Want to purchase one or several standards? Use the personalized standard catalogue in myNBN or visit the e-shop
  • Broaden your expertise with a training course? Contact us via or 02 300 78 52. 

A selection from our 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.