New Social Standards to Promote Global Sustainable Growth

The International Organization of Standards (ISO),  a non-governmental network of national standards institutes in 163 countries, has just released a new report entitled ISO 26000: Guidance on social responsibility that provides comprehensive guidelines on issues businesses need to address to operate in a socially responsible manner. The guidelines were developed by representatives from more than 80 countries worldwide. The report is now available on the American National Standards Institution website.

The new standard comes at a time when businesses are being judged on anything from their e-waste disposal, and safety standards, to their carbon emissions and energy efficiency. The new guide provides organizations of all sizes and types with best practice guidance in social responsibility, taking into account societal, environmental, legal, cultural, political and organizational diversity, as well as differences in economic considerations

In the report, ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele states

“Operating in a socially responsible manner is no longer an option. It is becoming a requirement of society worldwide. What makes ISO 26000 exceptional among the many already existing social responsibility initiatives is that it distills a truly international consensus on what social responsibility means and what core subjects need to be addressed to implement it.”

The report focuses on seven key aspects of social responsibility: organizational governance, community involvement and development, environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues, labor practices and human rights.

The benefits of ISO 26000 are numerous. Not only do socially responsible corporate policies boost the reputation of a business, they also secure long-term customer, client and employee loyalty. Similarly, the move towards increased efficiency allows companies to sidestep the costs of wasted energy or waste removal fees. 

The new standards will enable international companies to cope with any new laws or restrictions that may be introduced in an increasingly green world. Compliance with these standards will also amplify the competitiveness of a business, as global investors are increasingly more focus on  investing their money in reputable and sustainable enterprises.

More information on the launch of the ISO guidance standards on social responsibility

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