ISO 26000, ANOTHER CERTIFICATION? A GUIDE TO SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Published on november 2010, the ISO 26000 standard related to social responsibility aims at providing organizations with a method and tools to go on the path for CSR. The representatives of six different categories of stakeholders are involved in its drafting: i businesses, governments, workers, consumers, NGOs and others.
The standard contains a list of issues that should be taken into account along the path towards integration of social responsibility, but that are not comparable to those of other ISO standards. The ISO 26000, actually, does not involve the release of any certification. It can only receive a certificate from parts of accredited third parties.
The integration of CSR elements in strategies and processes is the key point of this route. The corporate social responsibility – which is closely linked to the principles of sustainability – can not be isolated from the context, but should be treated as the benchmark for all company policies. In this perspective, the key words for an organization using the ISO 26000 should be: awareness and competence, identification and involvement, priorities, integration, review, reporting and communication.
If we pay attention to the values that inspired it, we understand why the ISO 26000 is not set as a frame of reference for certification. Concepts such as social responsibility and sustainability, in fact, are closely related to the history, traditions, knowledge and cultural heritage of an organization. In short, to its identity. The path each company decides to go through, therefore, can cross territories that have not yet beaten, without the help of past experiences that can serve as examples.
The decision to apply the principles of ISO 26000 may relate to any type of organization, regardless of its size, the sector in which it operates, that it produces goods or provide services… Regardless the fact, above all, that it has or has not implemented other management systems.
In the first case the issues mentioned by the ISO 26000 may represent the element of rational synthesis of what has already been undertaken. Otherwise, it will be a useful starting point to adopt formalized organizational tools.