April 22 marks the 53rd celebration of Earth Day! To celebrate the day that inspires environmental protection initiatives around the world, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) looks at how Standards Alliance: Phase 2 (SA2), a public-private partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and ANSI, has launched ongoing projects that support sustainability—including several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
WASH: SA2 Projects Focus on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
Among its ongoing initiatives, the SA2 program has been proactive in organizing workshops focused on water and sanitation standards.
SA2’s mission to strengthen the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector globally is in motion: the project works to support a strong legal framework, improve implementation of plumbing codes, improve the efficiency of water utilities, and enhance safe drinking water in regions that include Latin America, Indo-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa.
Ongoing project activities to enhance the WASH sector include:
Energy: SA2 Project Focus on Clean Energy
Similarly, ANSI’s work with Pivot Clean Energy supports SDG 7 on ensuring affordable and clean energy. The workshops and trainings aim to increase access to reliable clean cooking fuels (bioethanol), and to expand infrastructure and technology that supply modern and sustainable energy services in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 80% of the population cooks with solid or fossil fuels. These fuels have enormous negative impacts on the environment and the health of women and children, who have the primary responsibility of procuring and cooking with solid and fossil fuels.
Without substantial policy adjustments, the total number of people lacking access to clean fuels and technologies will remain largely unchanged by 2030, hindering the achievement of goals set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including women empowerment and gender mainstreaming. Bioethanol for clean cooking offers a path for countries to achieve their sustainable development goals while providing significant benefits to the consumer, including cost and time savings, healthier homes, and safer options for cooking and fuel procurement. For Africa, pursuing clean cooking is a pathway to managing household air pollution (HAP), deforestation, and preventing the 600,000 African fatalities that occur annually as a result of traditional cooking practices.
Protecting the Planet—and Supporting UN SDGs
The UN SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and promote peace and prosperity for all people by 2030. In addition to supporting SG 6: Clean water and sanitation through the aforementioned activities, SA2 will work on initiatives that support other UN SDGs, including:
The overarching goal of the SA2 is to help increase the capacity of developing countries to implement accepted international best practices to reduce instances of poor quality and unsafe products, services, and infrastructure. Ultimately, better adoption and implementation of international standards will improve the quality and safety of goods on a global scale, supporting multiple SDGs.
Additionally, ANSI and its partners will seek to support training in sectors such as solar energy, promote a gender-equitable workforce, and advance the implementation of international standards that promote sustainable city planning and the circular economy.
About the Standards Alliance: Phase 2
The Standards Alliance: Phase 2 (SA2) builds upon the success of Phase 1 to support the capacity of developing countries in the areas of legal and regulatory framework, standards development, conformity assessment procedures, and private sector engagement.
SA2 involves collaboration with U.S. private sector partners, U.S. government experts, and USAID eligible countries and regions between 2019-2024. These regions include Latin America, Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and Indo-Pacific. Project activities help developing countries prevent and remove non-tariff barriers and stimulate economic growth, while also preserving and expanding markets for U.S. businesses.
If you or your organization would like to get involved in one of the Standards Alliance's project activities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and reference the activity of interest. Access more information about ongoing progress and activities on the Standards Alliance: Phase 2 website.