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Methods standardization in the environmental field

® Anja Holmsten

The Finnish Environmental Institute (SYKE) together with its national mirror committees draw up methods standards for the environmental field

By appointment of the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) acts as the national reference laboratory for the environmental field in Finland. One of its tasks is to participate in the drawing up of methods standards.

Co-operation agreement between SYKE and SFS on the drawing up standards

SYKE has a co-operation agreement with the Finnish Standards Association (SFS) on the drawing up of methods standards for its field. According to the agreement, SYKE is responsible for the preparation of standards for the environmental field. SYKE also represents Finland in the following technical committees (TC) of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO):

These technical committees draw up European (EN) and international (ISO) standards for the environmental field.

National standardization mirror committees

In order to be able to take care of its tasks related to standardization, SYKE has appointed the following national working groups consisting of experts in different fields for the period 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2019:

1. The mirror committee for chemical and sampling water research methods

  • CEN/TC 230 Water analysis technical committee (TC)
    • WG 1 Physical and chemical methods
    • WG 4 Performance Requirements for Water Monitoring Equipment
  • ISO/TC 147 Water quality technical committee
    • SC 2 Physical, chemical and biochemical methods
    • SC 6 Sampling

2. The mirror committee for biological methods :

  • CEN/TC 230 Water analysis technical committee (TC) 
    • WG 2 Biological  methods
  • ISO/TC 147 Water quality technical committee   (TC )
    • SC 5 Biological methods

3. The mirror committee for microbiological methods

  • ISO/TC 147 Water quality technical committee (TC)
    • SC 4 Microbiological methods

National Institute for Health and Welfare and its Unit of Water and Health is responsible for the work.

4. The mirror committee for  characterization of soils and sludges

  • ISO/TC 190 Soil quality technical committee (TC)
  • CEN/TC 345 Characterization of soils technical committee (TC)
  • CEN/TC 308 Characterization of sludges technical committee (TC)
  • CEN/TC 444 Test methods for Environmental characterization of solid matrix

6. SYKE is responsible for standardization of hydrological measurements

  • CEN/TC 318 Hydrometry technical committee (TC)

No mirror committee set up.

7. SYKE is  responsible for standardization of

  • ISO/TC 275 Sludge recovery, recycling, treatment and disposal

No mirror committee set up.

Participation in the mirror groups

Participation in above mentioned mirror groups is open and free of charge for experts interested in developing environmental methods standards.

Use of the environmental methods standards

Methods standards are used for research purposes, the monitoring and surveillance of the state of the environment as well as for required monitoring. They also have an important role in the execution of EU directives. When using the standards, it is easier to obtain reliable and comparable results, which facilitates national and international co-operation in both private and public sectors.

List of the standards can be found on SFS online:

SFS sells ready standards, reports and SFS handbooks among others

ISO, CEN and SFS have standardized almost 600 methods or instructions in the environmental field and are sold by SFS.

For more information

Coordinator, Ms. Anja Holmsten, Finnish Environment Institute (


Published 2016-10-18 at 9:40, updated 2017-11-16 at 10:15
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