29 November 2019. In view of the start of the Conference of the Parties (COP25), the supreme decision-making body of the UN charged with taking decisions on climate change, the certification of products and services has become an instrument that guarantees compliance with the commitments assumed by governments and organisations in the field of energy efficiency.
Certification, a core activity of AENOR, is the recognition of the teamwork and effort of public and private sector organisations to voluntarily align their organisational processes and competitive ability to contribute towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), allowing for the mitigation of concentrations of Greenhouse Effect Gases (GHG) in the atmosphere and carbon management, two priority issues on the COP25 agenda.
To support organisations in these processes, AENOR offers a wide range of more than 60 certification schemes in the environmental field, such as certification of Energy Efficiency (ISO 51000), of Zero Waste, as well as those that promote best practices in Environmental Management (ISO 14001), those related to Ecodesign in the context of the circular economy, as well as Environmental Product Declarations aimed at specific sectors, including Forestry.
Currently, there is a growing interest among companies to be granted environmental certification. From the close of 2018 to date, there has been a 7% growth in work centres certified in Environmental Management by AENOR, which represents the credibility and responsibility of organisations with sustainability and the role of certification as a tool that demonstrates this commitment.
Proof of this is the increase in the number of companies that use certification to prevent, reduce or mitigate environmental effects. In the world there are over 307,000 organisations certified with the Environmental Management Standard (ISO 14001) and more than 47,000 centres certified in Energy management (ISO 50001). This effort represents a reduction in associated financial costs and greenhouse gas emissions in organisations. Spain is the first country in Europe and worldwide rated by the number of ISO 14001 certificates granted and fourth in Europe and the world for ISO 50001 certifications.
As part of the support to organisations, since 2018 AENOR has been participating in the CARBOCERT operational group, which establishes methodologies for accounting for the increase in carbon in agricultural soils and fixed and durable structures as a result of the application of sustainable agronomic practices. With this project, it contributes to mitigating the effects of climate change and combating the loss of organic carbon in the soil, one of the major problems arising from the application of intensive practices in Mediterranean agricultural soils.
According to José Magro, Sustainability and CSR Manager of AENOR, "when we talk about carbon management we are referring to the actions for calculating, reducing or offsetting the environmental impact of activities, products and services in terms of organisations' CO2 emissions."
Magro points out that to contribute to climate change mitigation, a series of standards such as ISO 14064 are included, which help organisations to quantify their emissions, the first measure necessary in order to reduce them. In the chapter on emission reduction measures, in addition to all the tools related to energy management, AENOR verifies different voluntary schemes such as the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the Gold Standard, as well as projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol.
During the days of the COP25, AENOR will deploy content across all its channels, from its corporate website to social media, with the objective of raising awareness and disseminating information that is of value to society and explaining the contribution and benefits of AENOR's services towards achieving the objectives that are sought at the summit. To make it more visible and eye-catching, all the marketing supports will be coloured green during the days of the conference, as well as the lighting on AENOR's headquarters in Calle Génova in Madrid, which will also be green.