Social responsibility Standard soon to be published

Issue 21 – October 2010

Guidance on social responsibility ISO 26000 is expected to be published on 1 November 2010.

ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele says, 'ISO 26000 will help organisations for whom operating in a socially responsible manner is more than “just a nice idea” to implement social responsibility in a pragmatic way that targets performance. It will be a powerful tool to help organisations move from good intentions about social responsibility to good actions.'

ISO 26000 will provide globally relevant guidance for private and public sector organisations. The Standard is the result of international consensus among expert representatives of the main stakeholder groups with an interest in the subject and is designed to encourage the implementation of best practice in social responsibility worldwide.

ISO 26000 is consistent with relevant declarations and conventions by the United Nations and its constituents, including the International Labour Organization (ILO). ISO has established a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ILO to ensure consistency with ILO labour Standards. ISO has also signed MOUs with the United Nations Global Compact Office and with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to enhance their cooperation on the development of ISO 26000.

A vote by ISO's worldwide membership of national Standards institutes on the Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) version of ISO 26000 closed on 12 September. It was approved by 94% of the countries voting and largely supported by the liaison organisations that also participated in the Standard's development.

Development of ISO 26000 was launched in 2005. The project was carried out by the multi-stakeholder ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility (ISO/WG SR). ISO/WG SR includes experts and observers from 99 ISO member countries, including 69 developing nations. New Zealand is an observer of ISO/WG SR.

Summarised from a 14 September 2010 ISO media release.

Published in international.