Standards contribute £8.2 billion to UK economy

Download report.

When you save this report, in order that we can monitor the distribution of our reports, we would like your details as set out below. If you supply them, they will not be kept longer than necessary, in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

On submission the PDf will automatically start to download.

First Name



Phone Number


Job Title

June 9, 2015

Report by BSI and Cebr attributed 37.4% of UK productivity growth to standards

A new study released today reveals the economic contribution of standards to the UK economy and businesses.


The research finds that standards boost UK productivity and improve performance, kick-start innovation, and support UK domestic and international trade.


The report analyses the macroeconomic and microeconomic impact of BSI’s consensus based voluntary standards across the UK economy. It concludes that they are a vital part of the strength of UK industry and play a crucial and often invisible role in supporting economic growth.


The research finds that:

  • standards contribute towards 28.4% of annual UK GDP growth, equivalent to £8.2 billion in 2013;
  • 37.4% of UK productivity growth can be attributed to standards;
  • £6.1 billion of additional UK exports per year can be attributed to standards.



Of the companies surveyed for the research:

  • 84% say that using standards enhances their reputation;
  • 73% say that standards allow greater control of environmental problems;
  • 89% say that standards contribute to the optimization of compliance with regulations, such as health and safety legislation;
  • 50% say that standards encourage innovation through the diffusion of knowledge; and 70% say that standards contribute to improving their supply chain by improving the quality of supplier products and services.


The research also finds that investing in standards pays dividends for organizations that use them and that standards predominantly generate more benefits for companies that use them relative to the cost to implement.
Across the seven sectors analysed, our research found that standards contributed towards around £33 billion to annual turnover across all these sectors in 2013. This translates into £6.9 billion per year in GVA terms.


Published by the Cebr and commissioned by BSI, the report is the most comprehensive study to date on the economic benefits of standards, looking at data for the period 1921-2013.