The publication of ISO 26000 in 2010 gave organizations, including SMEs, guidelines for acting in a socially responsible manner.
The result of five years of consultations ’ dialog between numerous partners and experts, standard 26000 on social responsibility was adopted on November 1, 2010 by a large majority of ISO members (93%). The particular feature of this new standard is that it is applied to any company and any type of organization, i.e. non-governmental organizations such as charities, churches, political parties and authorities.
Ethics and transparency
The purpose of this standard is to help companies and organizations carry out their activities ethically and transparently and thus contribute to the health and well-being of society as a whole. These are guidelines and not obligations. ISO 26000 does not therefore give rise to any certification, unlike other ISO standards.
Seven core subjects
ISO 26000 recommends that companies take into account the following seven core subjects in order to address their social responsibility:
- Organizational Governance;
- Human Rights;
- Labor Practices;
- The Environment;
- Fair Operating Practices;
- Consumer Issues; and
- Community Involvement and Development.
It also addresses two key practices within social responsibility:
- Identification of the impact of the organization's decisions and activities in the light of the core subjects of ISO 26000 (set out above); and
- Identification and engagement with its stakeholders.
Standard 26000 can be ordered from the site of the Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV).