Guidance on Social Responsibility—ISO 26000
Guidance on Social Responsibility—ISO 26000

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Guidance on Social Responsibility—ISO 26000
  • What is social responsibility?
  • The standard and the environment
  • The standard applied in practice

Guidance on Social Responsibility—ISO 26000

ISO 26000 was published on 1 November 2010. Unlike most international standards which implement a management system, ISO 26000 is intended to assist organisations in contributing to sustainable development, by providing guidance on social responsibility (SR).

The standard aims to encourage organisations to go beyond legal compliance, recognising that compliance with law is a fundamental duty and an essential part of an organisation’s SR. It aims to operationalise social responsibility.

In August 2017 a guidance document, IWA 26 ‘Using ISO 26000 guidance on social responsibility in management systems’, was published. It is designed to aid organisations use ISO 26000 through the management systems standard (MSS) approach, which was introduced after ISO 26000 was developed. See: LNB News 04/08/2017 128.

The goal of ISO 26000 is to enhance and encourage SR efforts in organisations across the world by establishing common means of evaluation, defining SR concepts, and sharing examples of best practices. The practices set out in ISO 26000 are voluntary standards and guidance for achieving socially responsible practices, rather than certification requirements.

ISO 26000 sets out guidance on:

  1. concepts, terms and definitions related to SR

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