The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) says it has developed ninety standards to guard the East African nation’s environment from substandard goods.
The development was revealed in a news release issued by the standards watchdog in celebration of World Standards Day, which was celebrated Wednesday under the theme: protecting the planet with standards.
“In line with this year’s World Standards Day theme; ‘protecting the planet with standards’, UNBS has developed over 48 standards on environmental management, 30 photovoltaic/solar standards, seven biogas standards, two charcoal and charcoal briquette standards, one energy-efficient stoves standard and two energy labelling standards in a bid to protect the environment,” reads the news release.
Officials say implementing these standards will help 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,” they say.
According to government data, industrial growth at 6.2% posted the second-highest growth in Uganda in 2019, falling behind the services sector whose growth averaged 7.6%.
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.
Despite the disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic, UNBS says it has accelerated the digital transition to improve standards development processes through the 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,” officials said in a statement.
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 to 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,” reads the statement.