ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, launched the long awaited ISO 26000 standard. The standard provides guidance to both business and public sector organizations on social responsibility. 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.
The publication of ISO 26000 is eagerly awaited by organizations worldwide, whether they are business enterprises, or public sector organizations. 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 from developing countries, business, government, consumers, labour, nongovernmental organizations and others.â€ť
ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele, 2010
ISO 26000 is a voluntary guidance standard that is not to be used for certification, unlike ISO 9001:2008 (quality management) and ISO 14001:2004 (environmental management) which can be used for certification.