ISO 26000 – Social responsibility
Business and organizations do not operate in a vacuum. Their relationship to the society and environment in which they operate is a critical factor in their ability to continue to operate effectively. It is also increasingly being used as a measure of their overall performance.
ISO 26000 provides guidance on how businesses and organizations can operate in a socially responsible way. This means acting in an ethical and transparent way that contributes to the health and welfare of society.
ISO 26000:2010 provides guidance rather than requirements, so it cannot be certified to unlike some other well-known ISO standards. Instead, it helps clarify what social responsibility is, helps businesses and organizations translate principles into effective actions and shares best practices relating to social responsibility, globally. It is aimed at all types of organizations regardless of their activity, size or location.
The standard was launched in 2010 following five years of negotiations between many different stakeholders across the world. Representatives from government, NGOs, industry, consumer groups and labour organizations around the world were involved in its development, which means it represents an international consensus.
Getting the most out of ISO 26000, the world’s first and most widely used International Standard for social responsibility, is the aim of a new guidance document just published.
In its seven years of existence, ISO 26000 has become one of the key references for implementing social responsibility practices in any organization. It has been adopted nationally in 80 countries across more than 20 languages and was one of the sets of guidelines upon which the European Commission built its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy.
Now, a newly published International Workshop Agreement – IWA 26, Using ISO 26000 guidance on social responsibility in management systems – helps organizations reap even greater benefits from the standard using the management systems standard (MSS) approach.