Guidance on Social responsibility, ISO 26000

About Guidance on Social responsibility, ISO 26000

ISO 26000 is a voluntary guidance standard on social responsibility designed for use by organisations to plan and implement actions to improve their sustainability (economics, social, environmental) efforts.

ISO 26000 is not a management system standard. It is intended to provide guidance, as opposed to specific requirements and cannot be certified to.

ISO 26000 promotes a common understanding of social responsibility, complementing other existing tools and initiatives. It seeks to help organisations understand and clearly define what social responsibility means to them, and offer guidelines to assist with the deployment of best practice principles and actionable solutions

ISO 26000 identifies seven core subjects that socially responsible organisations should address:

  • Organizational governance
  • Human rights
  • Labour practices
  • Environment
  • Fair operating practices
  • Consumer issues
  • Community involvement and development

ISO 26000 provides guidance on:

  • Recognizing social responsibility and engaging stakeholders;
  • Ways to integrate socially responsible behaviour into the organization;
  • Seven key underlying principles of social responsibility:
    • Accountability
    • Transparency
    • Ethical behaviour
    • Respect for stakeholder interests
    • Respect for the rule of law
    • Respect for international norms of behaviour
    • Respect for human rights


Why it matters

Organizations’ performance on their social responsibility influence:

  • Competitive advantage
  • Reputation
  • ability to attract and retain customers, clients and users
  • maintenance of employee morale, productivity
  • perception of investors and the financial community
  • Relationships with the community in which it operates
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