A voluntary standard is a standard that companies may choose to adopt or not, as opposed to a mandatory standard, which carries the force of law and may be imposed by a governmental or other regulatory agency. Voluntary standards may address products, technical processes, or social processes, and in the past two decades have gained high importance in political, corporate, and technical discourses about how societies should deal with global environmental crises. Although some believe that laws and enforced standards are the best way to deal with environmental problems related to manufacturing and trade, many governments, industry, and business associations are now calling for deregulated, responsibly coordinated action by corporations themselves, arguing that efficient solutions to environmental problems can only be brought about if business ...

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