AccESS is a pilot-project run by ECOS to break down barriers and help national environmental NGOs participate in the European Standardisation System (ESS).

Standards play a larger role in European laws and policies than ever before. Standards have a direct impact on both human health and nature, and if civil society does not make its voice heard in the standardisation system, the impacts could be detrimental. Environmental NGO participation in standards making brings a wealth of expertise which cannot be found elsewhere, and ultimately results in better European standards for everyone.

It takes a great amount of time, money and specialized expertise to take part in standardisation – something which automatically keeps most, if not all, NGOs out of the process.

ECOS provides a gateway into the world of standards, and through the AccESS project sets out to strengthen national NGOs further, making the environmental voice louder and stronger than ever before.

Over the course of two years, ECOS and the project partners will explore and test new collaborative working practices for environmental NGOs to participate in the development of standards.

The project partners consist of nine European environmental NGOs:

The first part of the project gives the members an intensive training on standardisation, learning the ins and outs, and how to effectively contribute to the standards development process. The second part of the project sees the partners work on their areas of interest and expertise alongside ECOS. The project gives partners the opportunity to share their national expertise and knowledge to make better standards, while ECOS amplifies their voice in the ESS.

The works areas of AccESS are:

  • Bioeconomy
  • Smart grids and meters
  • Electric Vehicles
  • GHG emissions & climate change
  • Recycling & Reuse
  • Material Efficiency
  • Ecodesign of energy-related products
  • Chemicals & nanotechnologies
  • Refrigerants

AccESS is a first of its kind project launched in January 2017. The pilot-project was awarded funding by the European Commission to tackle the main obstacles environmental NGOs face in participating in standards and showcase their importance in improving the quality of current standards. The project will conclude in January 2019.

For more information about the project partner’s national activities for AccESS, please visit their respective websites.

For more information about AccESS and ECOS, please contact Ioana Popescu, AccESS Project Coordinator

Learn more about the crucial role civil society plays in the development of standards in our brochure.