Large Amounts of Measurements Needed to Promote Sustainability


Large Amounts of Measurements Needed to Promote Sustainability

World Metrology Day 2024 Highlights the Importance of Metrology for a Sustainable World

Delft, May 17, 2024 – To promote sustainability, massive quantities of measurements are continuously conducted worldwide. This unknown but crucial aspect of sustainability therefore is the theme of this year’s World Metrology Day on May 20.

Accurate measurements form the foundation of environmental research and policy-making because they enable us to understand and address complex environmental challenges such as climate change, pollution, and resource depletion. “Without accurate measurements, we cannot assess these major challenges, let alone find solutions to them,” says Fabienne van Booma, Managing Director at VSL, the National Metrology Institute of the Netherlands. “Whether it’s reducing CO2 emissions, optimizing renewable energy sources, or ensuring water quality, metrology is at the heart of every step forward towards a sustainable future.”

Sustainability is an all-encompassing goal that requires precision in various components, from industrial processes to environmental policies. VSL, as the National Metrology Institute, plays a key role in providing this precision. This is achieved, among other things, through the development and application of measurement standards essential for innovative sustainability projects and achieving climate goals.


One example of this commitment is the role of metrology in the energy transition. Joost Hooghiem, Director of the Hydrogen Network Netherlands, a project by Gasunie, states: “The industry in the Netherlands is responsible for about 25% of the national CO2 emissions. With electrification, sustainability can only be partially achieved, making CO2-free gases indispensable. By using CO2-free hydrogen as both a feedstock and fuel, emissions in the industry can be reduced. Reliable measurements form the foundation for a new energy system and new value chains.” Therefore, VSLis developing a primary physical measurement standard for hydrogen commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Research into Electric Charging

Continuous innovation and improvement, where metrology often plays a significant role, are essential to promoting sustainability. Consequently, international research projects related to sustainability issues are regularly initiated in Europe. One example of this is a European study on measurement methods for electric charging stations. It is, of course, important for users to pay a fair price for the energy consumed, but the measurement technology for this is far from fully developed. Charging stations also cause disruptions in the power grid, which must be measured accurately to prevent excessive disturbances from causing problems with other equipment or the grid itself.

Björn Smit, Metering Program Manager at ABB e-mobility, also emphasizes the importance of a European legal framework for the certification of (DC) charging stations. “Currently, a European legal framework is lacking, making it unclear to consumers what the costs of charging their car are exactly and what the differences are between countries.” He emphasizes that metrology is essential for creating such a framework.

Finally, metrology is also important because it supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations’ efforts for sustainable global development. VSL continues to work tirelessly, as a national metrology institute, to promote measurement accuracy and technological innovation in service of a sustainable future.