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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.

The contents of ISO 26000 is structured as follows :

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • 1 – Scope
  • 2 – Terms and definitions
  • 3 – Understanding social responsibility
  • 4 – Principles of social responsibility
  • 5 – Recognizing social responsibility and engaging stakeholders
  • 6 – Guidance on social responsibility core subjects
  • 7 – Guidance on integrating social responsibility throughout an organization
  • Annex A – Examples of voluntary initiatives and tools for social responsibility
  • Annex B – Abbreviated terms
  • Bibliography.

The guidance provided in these sections is intended to be clear and understandable – even to non-specialists – as well as objective and applicable to all types of organization, including big business and small and medium-sized enterprises, public administrations and governmental organizations. How does ISO 26000 relate to existing good work? The guidance in ISO 26000 draws on best practice developed by existing public and private sector SR initiatives. It is consistent with and complements relevant declarations and conventions by the United Nations and its constituents, notably the International Labour Organization (ILO), with whom ISO has established a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure consistency with ILO labour standards. ISO has also signed MoUs with the United Nations Global Compact Office (UNGCO) and with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to enhance their cooperation on the development of ISO 26000.

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