The sharing economy creates a more sustainable world

New standard to facilitate the sector’s healthy growth.

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Clare  Naden
By Clare Naden
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Today, people are increasingly turning to their peers to access goods and services, making better use of their skills and assets. The sharing economy is one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors with the potential to be a key contributor to economic growth. A new standard has just been published to support the momentum.

ISO 42500, Sharing economy – General principles, provides guidance intended to ensure safe and trustworthy transactions by encouraging optimal resource use. When undertaken in accordance with laws and the sorts of principles set out in standards, this optimization can also help support environmental objectives.

According to Dr Kernaghan Webb, Convenor of the group of experts that developed the standard, issues such as products or services not meeting environmental, social and other expectations are all barriers to the growth of the sharing economy. Other obstacles include the lack of user privacy safeguards, data protection breaches and the absence of clear procedures for filing complaints.

“The sharing economy has the potential to truly transform our world, reducing overconsumption and even creating communities,” he said. “Its growth depends on there being a solid base of trust built through transparency and accountability. ISO 42500 was developed with this in mind.”

This first standard provides a robust foundation upon which other more detailed standards will be based. Together, these will form a suite of standards offering operational guidance for the safety and trustworthiness of the sharing economy.

ISO 42500 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 324, Sharing economy, whose secretariat is held by JISC, ISO’s member for Japan. It can be purchased from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.

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