What are the results from adopting ISO 26000 ?

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How well do you perform in relation to the seven core subjects of corporate social responsibility outlined in ISO 26000?

Performance in Social and Environmental Aspects

The ISO 26000 standard promotes the concept of corporate social responsibility.

The significance of social responsibility on behalf of businesses is not universally acknowledged by all companies. The motivation of a company to "do the right thing" can be affected by a variety of factors, including the sector in which the company operates, its geographic location, and the regulations imposed by the government. In response to this issue, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed the ISO 26000 standard, which is intended to guide businesses in the direction of greater social responsibility.


Accountability and responsible corporate citizenship are both fostered by CSR. This includes the adoption of reasonable business practises that help sustain (rather than disrupt) the delicate balance of people, planet, and profit – the so-called 3BL, or triple bottom line. These practises are referred to as 3BL. In order to guarantee their continued economic viability over the long term, businesses need to take into account the effects their actions have on both society and the surrounding natural environment. Following standards of sustainability, such as the ISO 26000 framework, is one method by which they can accomplish this goal.

Learn how the stakeholder engagement software from Borealis can help improve your reporting on corporate social responsibility and any other stakeholder engagement activities.

What does ISO 26000 stand for?


The international standard ISO 26000 was developed to assist organisations in determining how to evaluate and respond to their social responsibilities. The most up-to-date version of the standard, known as ISO 26000:2010, underwent its most recent review and confirmation in 2017.

Since then, the international standard ISO 26000:2010 has been adopted as a national standard in more than 80 countries. These include the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Germany, and France, as well as many developing countries. The standard is utilised by thousands of businesses and organisations all over the world, including well-known international brands such as Coca-Cola and Starbucks.

How Organizations Can Improve Their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Using ISO 26000

The international standard ISO 26000 provides companies and organisations with actionable guidance to:

Address issues of social responsibility in a manner that takes into account varying aspects of culture, society, the natural world, the legal system, and the economy.

Put the guiding principles of social responsibility into practise.

Determine who the stakeholders are, and maintain open lines of communication with them, for more accurate and credible reporting on social responsibility.

Performance in business should be a top priority, and this should include the principles of continuous improvement.

Improve the experience of both customers and stakeholders.

Integrate preexisting ISO standards, government regulations, and international conventions, as well as provide additional support where necessary.

Raise people's awareness in general of the social responsibility programmes they are undertaking.

The seven fundamental tenets of ISO 26000.

The international standard ISO 26000 lays out seven fundamental principles, which it considers to be the foundations of socially responsible behaviour:



Integrity in one's conduct

A respect for the interests of stakeholders

Having respect for the established legal order

Regard for the norms of behaviour established internationally

Observance and protection of human rights

Additionally, seven fundamental aspects of social responsibility are outlined in ISO 26000. Every topic touches on a wide range of problems that require solutions.


7 fundamental areas covered by ISO 26000

Governance within an organisation

People's rights

Labour practises

Concerning the Environment

Implementing ethical business practises

Consumer issues

Participation in the community and advancement of

Case in point Feronia

Learn how a structured social and environmental governance programme is assisting a palm oil producer in Congo to pursue profitability while maintaining the trust of stakeholders.

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1. The Governance of the Organization

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 26000 encourages organisations to incorporate accountability, transparency, and ethics into their governance practises and decision-making procedures. In particular, this refers to the organization's established procedures, whether formal or informal, as well as its norms and values. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides companies with guidance to assist them in establishing processes, systems, and other mechanisms to hold themselves accountable.

2. Concerning Human Rights

Human rights are the universal liberties that apply to all human beings, regardless of race, gender, language, religious affiliation, national origin, or any other status. Human rights are also known as civil rights and political rights. These rights, which are meant to protect people from being mistreated, discriminated against, and exploited, are founded on the principle of respecting the individual as an autonomous being.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 26000 offers businesses guidelines for supporting human rights, specifically by:

granting permission for free organisation and collective bargaining

Maintaining a level playing field in terms of employment opportunities

putting an end to any and all forms of prejudice and discrimination

Resolving grievances

seeking ways to prevent or lessen the negative effects of human rights violations such as the use of child labour


3. Labour Practices

The policies of an organisation and its labour practises should always be aligned with one another. This is not only true for the employees of an organisation, but also for any work carried out on its behalf, such as work that is subcontracted. Issues that need to be addressed by responsible labour practises include:

Relationships based on employment and contractual obligations

Conditions of employment and various forms of social protection

Social dialogue

Workplace health and safety considerations

The cultivation of people and the training of employees in the workplace

4. The State of the Environment

No matter the location of an organisation, the choices they make and the things they do will invariably have some kind of effect on the surrounding ecosystem. This could involve the consumption of resources, the production of pollution and waste, as well as the destruction of natural habitats.

ISO 26000 encourages organisations to reduce their negative effects on the environment and ensure that their consumption of resources is done in a sustainable manner. They are strongly encouraged to take a holistic approach to the problem, one that takes into account the socio-economic, health, and environmental effects of their activities, both directly and indirectly.

The following are some of the things that organisations are strongly encouraged to participate in:

Stop the spread of pollution.

Use resources sustainably

Prepare for and adapt to the changing climate.

The preservation of natural habitats, natural resources, and biological diversity should be a top priority.

5. Adherence to Fair Business Procedures

The way in which an organisation interacts with other people is addressed by its fair operating practises. In order to achieve favourable outcomes, ISO 26000 requires businesses to conduct themselves in an ethical manner when interacting with customers, partners, suppliers, contractors, other businesses, and government agencies.

The following are examples of fair operating practises:

putting a stop to wrongdoing

Responsible political involvement

Fair competition

Increasing awareness of the importance of social responsibility within the value chain

Having a healthy regard for property rights

6. Consumer Issues

Consumers are entitled to certain responsibilities from the businesses that supply them with goods and services. ISO 26000 encourages companies to promote fair and sustainable economic and social development. An approach that is responsible to consumer issues includes the following:

Competitively just methods of marketing

safeguarding of health and safety concerns

Sustainable consumption

Education of the consumer

Dispute resolution

Protection of personal information and privacy

The maintenance of fair use

Making sure that basic goods and services are accessible to everyone, including marginalised or vulnerable communities

7. Participation in Community Life and Efforts to Advance It

Every organisation makes a difference in the communities in which it operates, and that difference can be improved by the organization's active participation in the community's affairs. In point of fact, two of the most important ways in which organisations can contribute to a more sustainable society are through their involvement and development within their respective communities.

ISO 26000 provides direction on the following areas:

Participation in the community on an active level

Encouragement of the operation of civil institutions

Encouragement of intellectual pursuits and cultural practises

Development of skills and employment opportunities

The advancement and availability of technology

The generation of income and wealth

Encouragement of good health

Social investment

Where to begin with the ISO 26000 Standard

Paper documents and PDF files of ISO 26000:2010, the most recent version of the standard, can be purchased online. This includes purchasing them directly from the ISO website at The most recent version of the standard was published in 2010.

Reporting on Corporate Responsibility to the Social Community

The way in which consumers, investors, and other important stakeholders view an organization's social responsibility frequently has an effect on the actions that these groups take. Therefore, in order to manage this perception in an appropriate manner, organisations need to take the necessary steps.

In a different blog post, I went over the significance of sustainability reporting for businesses, which is a component of CSR (corporate social responsibility). We saw in that article that the vast majority of companies fail to report their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts in a meaningful and credible manner. This is true even for companies that have entire departments devoted to CSR.

A primary factor in inaccurate reporting is a deficiency in high-quality data. Implementing a dedicated social and environmental performance system is likely to be the easiest and most effective way to solve this issue and should be your first course of action. Standardizing the trustworthy and open collection of data within an organisation is easier to accomplish with the assistance of tools designed specifically for that purpose. This important data is kept in a single location, making it simple for anyone with the appropriate authorization to retrieve it whenever they need it.

Systems that are more advanced in terms of social and environmental performance, such as the Borealis stakeholder engagement software, go even further than this. They provide highly effective analytics and reporting features, which assist organisations in deriving meaning from their data and generating reports that are tailored to the interests of stakeholder groups.

Increasing Our Commitment to Social Responsibility as a Corporation

Even if the ISO 26000 standard is not followed, it is still possible for a company to make significant progress in the area of corporate social responsibility. In the majority of instances, businesses can start by investigating the various ways in which they can incorporate CSR initiatives into their pre-existing procedures, policies, and organisational structures.

The seven steps that follow provide a rough outline of a road map for incorporating CSR into an organisation:

Think about the organization's genetic code.

Determine the fundamental characteristics of the organisation. Among other things, this refers to the organization's mission, values, and principles, as well as its code of conduct, internal and external stakeholders, and value chain.

Conduct an Analysis of the Organization's Present Strategy

Examine the current practises of the organisation regarding the management of accountability. Evaluate how relevant the various CSR topics are to the organisation, as well as the potential impacts those topics could have. Put them in order of importance based on the requirements, goals, and resources that are already in place.

Establish Core Procedures to Facilitate Corporate Social Responsibility Integration Across the Organization

Investigate the possibilities for expanding people's understanding of corporate social responsibility and developing their skills in this area. Determine the steps that should be taken by the organisation to incorporate CSR into its governance, systems, and procedures.

Ensure That Your CSR Efforts Are Communicated

Determine the overarching goal of communicating social responsibility and the specific forms of communication to implement. Make sure the information that is going to be shared is correct, all the way there, understandable, responsible, and on time.

Enhance Your Credibility With Regard to Your Organization's Responsibility to the Community

Investigate different avenues that could lead to more effective stakeholder issue and complaint management. Think about how you can communicate these improvements in such a way that the public's impression of the organization's sense of responsibility is improved as a result.

Continuously assess current CSR practises with the goal of making improvements.

Focus on improving your overall CSR performance once you have successfully incorporated CSR initiatives into your practises and are able to credibly demonstrate the impacts of those initiatives. Establish systems to monitor your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, keep track of your progress, and evaluate the results of individual initiatives. If you want to extract more meaning from this information, you should look into ways to enhance the data collection and management processes. Software that is tailored to its intended use will typically include analytical tools that will assist you in gleaning meaningful insights from your data and informing your strategic decision-making.


Workshops on ISO 26000 Standards

A Film Shot at ISO 26,000

Strategies for Introducing ISO 26000

The fundamentals of social responsibility in corporations

The definition of the ISO 26000 standard

The key differences between ISO 26000 and other ISO standards

ISO 26000's Goals and Objectives

How organisations can improve their corporate social responsibility with the help of ISO 26000

The seven fundamental tenets of ISO 26000.

The seven fundamental aspects of ISO 26000

Where to begin with the ISO 26000 Standard

How to report on your organization's obligations to the community

Instruction for Using ISO 26000 in Your Organization

For your further readings

Initiatives of voluntary CSR should be implemented.

Once you have robust CSR practises in place and are able to report your efforts in a manner that is both meaningful and credible, start looking for ways to turn CSR into a strategic advantage that will help your organisation grow.

The Foundations of Social Responsibility in Business

The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) covers a lot of ground. It encompasses almost everything that a business can do to advance the concept of sustainability, which is the notion that an organization's actions should not be harmful to the environment.

Why is it important for corporations to have social responsibility?

The Holmes Report from 2016 found that 75 percent of customers are likely to take negative action against businesses that behave irresponsibly. This may include engaging in activities such as posting on social media or organising boycotts.

Companies that have a reputation for irresponsibility stand to lose as much as 39% of their potential customer base as a result of this perception. One in four customers will encourage their friends and family to steer clear of businesses that, in their opinion, do not act responsibly.

Eighty-three percent of professional investors say that they are more likely to invest in businesses that are well-known for their commitment to social responsibility. Businesses that participate in CSR initiatives have a greater propensity to be more open and honest in general, which makes them an investment option with a lower level of risk.

Just 41% of consumers in the United States believe that American businesses, when viewed as an industry as a whole, are socially responsible.

This very last point is one that merits further investigation. If customers believe that businesses are irresponsible, then those businesses have a greater obligation to proactively demonstrate their commitment to social and environmental responsibility. They must also demonstrate that their actions amount to more than just talk and that they actually have a positive influence on the situation. The idea that businesses should make efforts to be good corporate citizens is one that has only gained ground over the course of time:

Since its inception in 2017, the Climate Action 100+ investor initiative has successfully captured the attention of people all over the world. Its purpose is to ensure that the largest corporate emitters of greenhouse gases in the world will take the necessary steps to combat climate change. Since its inception, more than 545 investors who collectively manage more than 52 trillion dollars' worth of assets have become members.

The private equity giant BlackRock made the announcement in January 2020 that it will refrain from making investments in businesses that face a high level of risk related to sustainability.

The Immediate Effects of Companies Taking Responsibility for Their Communities

The extent to which an organisation is seen as having a social responsibility—or does not have one—can, among other things, impact the organization's capacity to

Obtain or preserve a position of competitive advantage.

Maintain its good name and image of the brand.

Find a way to entice and hold on to workers, members, customers, clients, or users.

Maintain your employees' commitment, loyalty, and productivity.

Bring in the financial community, including investors, owners, donors, sponsors, and others.

Establish fruitful connections with the various levels of government, the press, your peers, your customers, and the community at large.

The key differences between ISO 26000 and other ISO standards

1. IS0 26000 is an optional standard.

ISO 26000 is not intended to be used for certification or regulation, as is the case with some of the other ISO standards. It is impossible to use it as a foundation for audits, conformity tests, or any other statements of compliance because it does not contain any requirements. Instead, it offers recommendations designed to assist organizations in improving various aspects of their corporate social responsibility. It encourages businesses to contribute to sustainable development by going above and beyond the minimum legal requirements for compliance.

2. The ISO 26000 standard is applicable to EVERY organization.

The international standard ISO 26000 is designed to be beneficial to all kinds of organizations, including those in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. The core topics cover problems that every organization, regardless of its size or where it is located, should be concerned with addressing. They are designed to be adapted to any industry, including the food industry, energy industry, manufacturing industry, retail industry, and transportation industry. Although early adopters of the standard were frequently multinational corporations, ISO 26000 was developed with the adaptability to be used by other kinds of organisations as well, such as hospitals, schools, and charitable organisations that do not operate for profit.

3. ISO 26000 was developed through a process of consensus.

Between the years 2005 and 2010, a number of different meetings and ongoing consultations were held in order to develop the ISO 26000 standard. The process was actively participated in by approximately five hundred delegates, each of whom represented one of the six main stakeholder groups. These representatives came from a variety of sectors, including labour, consumer, government, and non-governmental organisations. SSRO was also represented (Service, Support, Research and Others – primarily academics and consultants).

Participants from both "developing" and "developed" countries were included in the various groups and committees to present contrasting viewpoints regarding the economic and cultural landscapes of their respective nations. A great deal of discussion and compromise led to the establishment of the final standard. This ensured that it addressed the goals and concerns of all stakeholder groups and that its guidance would be usable by all types of organisations and in any country. Additionally, it made sure that its usability was universal.

ISO 26000's Goals and Objectives

The primary objective of the ISO 26000 standard is to encourage organisations to behave in a socially responsible manner as a means of contributing to sustainable development. Naturally, what exactly constitutes "socially responsible corporate behaviour" is something that is still up for discussion today.

The aim of ISO 26000 is to find a solution that strikes a balance between overly restrictive legislation and an absence of all rules and regulations altogether. In the end, the recommended approach encourages organisations to take responsibility for their own actions without impeding their capacity to carry out their missions. This adaptable framework can be especially attractive to businesses that need to demonstrate responsibility in order to obtain social licence to operate but whose mission may not emphasise the importance of sustainable development.