Standards are jointly agreed solutions to recurrent problems, developed to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are consistent and fit for purpose. A standard usually consist of a document in which uniform criteria, methods, processes, and practices are established. The standards used in Sweden are developed by a network consisting of the Swedish Institute for Standards (SIS), the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Standards touch almost every aspect of our lives and they are found in every area: from the production of electronics and medication, to practices in healthcare and environmental management. There is, for example, a standard for how to conduct a biodiversity survey called Biodiversity survey - Implementation, assessment and reporting (SS 199000:2014). The application of standards is usually voluntary, but a standard can become mandatory if adopted by a government (i.e., through legislation).