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The ISO 26000 standard

Between 2005 and 2010, guidelines for social responsibility ISO-26000 have been developed within the International Organization for Standardization, ISO, by more than 500 experts within 90 national delegations organized in six types of categories representative of society (business, labour, consumers, NGOs, experts and public administration). 42 international organizations also participated, including the International Labour organization (ILO), the European Commission, the OECD and the World Health Organization (WHO).
ISO is a worldwide federation of standardization bodies bringing together 160 countries. In France, the AFNOR organized a "mirror committee" chaired by the MEDEF for the stakeholder consultation.
Guidelines on Corporate Social Responsibility - ISO 26000 are intended to define the concept of social responsibility and to make it applicable to any type of organization (companies, local authorities, associations …), regardless of its size or location.
ISO 26000 defines corporate social responsibility as "the responsibility of an organization regarding the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, resulting in a transparent and ethical behavior that contributes to sustainable development, including health and social welfare; takes stakeholder expectations into account; complies with the applicable law and is consistent with international norms of behaviour; is integrated throughout the organisation and practised in its activities and its relationships with all players on which it is able to exert an influence. This responsibility is treated through 7 "core issues":

  • Governance of the organization (including law enforcement, transparency, accountability to report and dialogue with stakeholders)
  • Human Rights,
  • Labour conditions and relations,
  • The environment,
  • Good business practices (including the fight against corruption),
  • Consumer issues, and
  • Social commitment

ISO 26000 represents a deep evolution in comparison with the "proactive" approach of corporate responsibility previously established: it asserts that companies must take their share of the governance in favor of the sustainable development of our planet, respecting international and universally recognized texts. It invites them to actively collaborate with public institutions in producing and maintaining common goods. ISO 26000 has now been adopted and practiced in almost every country in the world, allowing many tools for assessing the quality of its implementation and inspiring many other CSR standards.

France played an active role in negotiations, managing to share the fundamental elements of its vision of social responsibility: the necessity to respect international agreements on Human Rights (Fundamental Conventions of the International Labour Organization, the Charter of Human Rights…), sharing responsibilities between the various stakeholders in a territory and dialogue with stakeholders.

Updated on: 08.01.13



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