Social Responsibility

ISO 26000:2010, Guidance on Social Responsibility, was launched on November 1, 2010. The ISO Secretary-General, Rob Steele, announced that the publication of ISO 26000 has been eagerly awaited by organizations worldwide, whether they are business enterprises, or public sector organizations.

Mr. Steele stated, “Operating in a socially responsible manner is no longer an option. It is becoming a requirement of society worldwide. What makes ISO 26000 exceptional among the many already existing social responsibility initiatives is that it distils a truly international consensus on what social responsibility means and what core subjects need to be addressed to implement it. In addition, it is based on broad stakeholder input, including developing countries, business, government, consumers, labor, nongovernmental organizations and others.”

According to the standard, the perception and reality of an organization’s performance on social responsibility can influence, among other things:

  • Competitive advantage
  • Reputation
  • Ability to attract and retain workers or members, customers, clients, or users
  • Maintenance of employees’ morale, commitment, and productivity
  • View of investors, owners, donors, sponsors, and the financial community
  • Relationship with companies, governments, the media, suppliers, peers, customers, and the community in which it operates.

ISO 26000 provides guidance for all types of organization, regardless of their size or location, on:

  • Concepts, terms and definitions related to social responsibility
  • Background, trends and characteristics of social responsibility
  • Principles and practices relating to social responsibility
  • Core subjects and issues of social responsibility
  • Integrating, implementing, and promoting socially responsible behavior throughout the organization and, through its policies and practices, within its sphere of influence
  • Identifying and engaging with stakeholders
  • Communicating commitments, performance, and other information related to social responsibility.

ISO 26000 is a voluntary guidance standard that is not to be used for certification. You can order it at this web page at the ANSI eStandards Store.