But how can companies assure that their production and processes are efficient and environmentally friendly? How can consumers be sure that products and services fulfill quality, as well as environmental and social requirements?
A prerequisite for sustainable development is a Quality Infrastructure – a complex network which includes all measures to assure and prove the quality of services and products.
Quality Infrastructure contributes to the competitiveness of the private sector and helps to overcome technical barriers to trade. It is required for the shaping of the domestic enabling environment (good governance) and the achievement of political objectives in the fields of environment, health and consumer protection.
In Germany, PTB as the National Metrology Institute takes over an important role in a national quality infrastructure. It performs key measurement functions for society, business and science.
However, the commitment of PTB is not limited to its national borders. Since the start of German development cooperation about 50 years ago, PTB International Technical Cooperation has been active in developing countries. PTB supports its partner countries in establishing a quality infrastructure which includes metrology, standardization, testing, certification and accreditation systems.
PTB is active in more than 81 countries worldwide. The following two examples represent only a marginal part of PTB’s wide scope of activities. In Africa, PTB strengthens the capacity of local testing laboratories in drinking water analyses. PTB supports laboratories in organizing regional proficiency tests which prove the competence of the testing labs.
This contributes to reliable testing and monitoring of the drinking water quality. In Latin America and the Caribbean, PTB strengthens the capabilities of regional and national Quality Infrastructure actors in the area of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The project contributes amongst others to improved quality assurance for solar thermal equipment for water heating, to reliable labeling of energy efficiency of household appliances and builds capacities to reduce technical losses in electricity grids.
All activities of PTB have one thing in common: They all contribute actively to the sustainable development of developing countries and countries in transition worldwide.