ISO is the abbreviation for the International Organization for Standardization, which is an independent international NGO that sets globally recognised standards for a number of principles for a given process to ensure uniform and high quality.

ISO is the designation for internationally recognised standards that contribute to a uniform way of viewing and acting according to everything from processes, quality, safety, health to technologies and digital devices in a wide range of areas.

ISO has existed since 1946

ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization, which is an independent NGO (non-governmental organisation) that was established in 1946 shortly after the end of World War II. The forerunner was called ISA (International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations), which was suspended during World War II in 1942. After the war, the newly established UN body UNSCC (United Nations Standards Coordinating Committee) approached ISA to establish a new international standard.

The abbreviation ISO does not match the full name, which is because it is abbreviated depending on the different languages ​​of the member countries. The founders of the organisation chose ISO as the common term across languages, which was allegedly chosen as a derivation of the Greek word “isos” meaning equal or equality.

ISO has 25.000 international standards and 171 member countries

By 2024, ISO has published a total of more than 25,000 standards, covering standards in virtually every imaginable area with everything from manufacturing products, technologies and food safety to transport, IT and sustainability, and much more.

A total of 171 countries are represented and recognise the ISO standards. In addition, there are so-called corresponding and subscribing member states. In Denmark, ISO is represented by Dansk Standard, which exclusively approves the international ISO standards for implementation in Danish standards.

Companies are certified as safe and quality conscious with ISO

In recent times, ISO has become synonymous with a rubber-stamped recognition of a company’s ability to comply with and maintain principles in operations, which e.g. ensures a high and uniform quality, recognises environmentally friendly initiatives or ensures a healthy and safe working environment.

When a company is certified, it is often a signal to customers, suppliers and other business partners that the company acts responsibly in a number of areas. At the same time, the trend is that companies increasingly seek to have their suppliers and business partners to work according to the same principles.

Hans Buch is ISO certified

At Hans Buch, we continuously work to achieve new ISO certifications that document our internal processes and workflows according to recognised standards that support the quality, safety and health that we want for ourselves and as a company, while we also encourage our suppliers and business partners to comply accordingly.

At the time of writing, Hans Buch has acquired and maintains the following ISO certifications:

  • Quality management (ISO 9001) – since 1994
  • Environmental management (ISO 14001) – since 2021
  • Occupational health and safety management (ISO 45001) – since 2024

In addition to the three certifications, Hans Buch appreciates business partners who comply with and are certified according to the standards for social responsibility (ISO 26000) and energy management (ISO 50001). You will find documentation for Hans Buch’s ISO certifications, our code of conduct, as well as a number of other basic information about Hans Buch here: “Basic information about Hans Buch as a supplier

List: Popular and widely used ISO standards

This list is not exhaustive, but illustrates a selection of the ISO standards that ISO itself has highlighted as popular and most widely used standards. In addition, standards have been highlighted that in recent times seek to meet challenges that affect not just the industry and the behavior of companies, but the international community as a whole for a common direction:

  • ISO 6: Camera film speed
  • ISO 639: Language code
  • ISO 20121: Event sustainability management
  • ISO 3166: Country Codes
  • ISO 4217: Currency codes
  • ISO 8601: Date and time format
  • ISO 9660: ISO images for computer files
  • ISO 13216: ISOFIX child seats for cars
  • ISO 13485: Medical devices
  • ISO 14000 family: Environmental management
  • ISO/IEC 17025: Testing and calibration laboratories
  • ISO 22000: Food safety management
  • ISO 26000: Social responsibility
  • ISO/IEC 27000 family: Information security management
  • ISO 31000: Risk management
  • ISO 37001: Anti-bribery management systems
  • ISO 45001 and related standards: Occupational health and safety
  • ISO 50001: Energy management

Related standards and international collaborations between ISO and other bodies

The wide range of ISO standards covers all technical and non-technical areas with the exception of electrical, which is handled by IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and ITU (International Telecommunication Union). Since 2001, the three bodies ISO, IEC and ITU have worked together under the designation WSC (World Standards Cooperation).


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