Uganda, through the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) joins the world to celebrate World Standards Day, under the theme; “Protecting the planet with standards”. The day is set aside to recognize and pay tribute to the many experts who volunteer their resources in developing standards for a better world.
As part of its mandate, UNBS develops, promotes and provides information on national standards as well as coordination of regional and international standardization, editing and publishing of standards and information services.
To date, UNBS has developed 3948 standards in the areas of Food and agriculture, Engineering, Chemicals and consumer products and Management and services at national, regional and international levels. In FY 2019/20, 505 new standards were developed to support key sectors of the economy and act as a catalyst for economic growth.
In line with this year’s World Standards Day theme, UNBS has developed over 48 standards on environmental management, 30 photovoltaic/solar standards, seven bio gas standards, two charcoal and charcoal briquette standards, one energy efficient stoves standard and two energy labelling standards in a bid to protect the environment.
Once implemented, these standards promote sustainability, by preparing the ground for renewable energy usage and integration into the electricity grid, paving the way for circular economy processes, including the recycling and reuse of materials, as well as providing benchmarks for energy efficiency in multiple devices and systems. Their broad use therefore, reduces the environmental impact of industrial production and processes, facilitates the reuse of limited resources and improves energy efficiency, thus protecting the planet.
Despite the disruption due the COVID-19 pandemic, UNBS has accelerated the digital transition to improve standards development processes through use of online tools such as ISOlutions, SiMo (Standards management systems and online meeting platforms (Zoom, WebEx and Microsoft teams). Our pilot online meetings and stakeholder engagements have so far been successful and we hope our stakeholders and especially the private sector will be able to transition and increase participation in standards work.
To contribute to the implementation of the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) Policy, UNBS is working closely with Micro, Small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to improve their products and systems that impact the environment and enable them acquire certification. We continue to witness an exponential increase in the number of Micro, Small and Medium
Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) seeking certification with over 1168 MSMEs registered and 304 MSMEs visited for on-site technical assistance and gap analysis in the financial year 2019/20.
On the other hand, consumers are required to look out for the certification status and labelling information on energy products before purchasing them to ensure that the goods bought conform to the standards that protect the environment.
Consumers are also urged to implement waste disposal instructions on the product label, as part of the concerted efforts to protect the planet.
As Uganda joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Standards Day, UNBS recognises and salutes Ugandan experts who have developed national standards to facilitate trade and protect the consumers as well as the environment. UNBS urges all of us to be responsible consumers and business community that are committed to protecting the planet through compliance to standards.