ISO 26000 on social responsibility approved for release as Final Draft International Standard


The way is now open for the publication of ISO 26000, which gives guidance on social responsibility, as an International Standard by the end of year.

The multi-stakeholder ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility (ISO/WG SR), which includes experts and observers from 99 ISO member countries and 42 public and private sector organizations, approved the draft ISO 26000 for processing as a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) at its 8th plenary meeting on 17-May 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The document is now being edited to take account of the consensus reached at the Copenhagen meeting, prior to which 2 482 written comments had been received for processing. ISO 26000 will be released for a two-month FDIS vote by ISO member countries in August-September, followed by publication as a fully fledged ISO International Standard by November.

The ISO/WG SR has a joint leadership provided by the ISO members for Brazil (ABNT) and Sweden (SIS). Its Chair, Jorge E.R. Cajazeira, commented after the successful conclusion to the Copenhagen meeting: "ISO 26000 will provide organizations in both public and private sectors with a new paradigm for helping them to operate in the socially responsible way that society now expects. It will assist them in achieving long-term economic benefits with minimal social costs and minimal harmful impacts on the environment."

ISO 26000 is a guidance standard, not a specification document intended for third party certification, and that ISO would be vigilant in seeing that this was respected. The ISO Secretary-General reiterated the market expectations for ISO 26000, which include:

  • Global agreement on SR definitions, and on the principles of SR
  • Global agreement on the core subjects of SR
  • Guidance on how to integrate SR throughout an organization