New committee on SR proposed

The national standards body in France, AFNOR, has submitted a proposal to the ISO membership to create a new ISO technical committee (TC) on social responsibility (SR).

The proposed scope of work:

Standardization in the field of Social Responsibility to provide guidance and framework to all types of organizations, regardless of their size, activity or location. It allows organizations to challenge their own practices, define their corporate social responsibility and thus devise strategies to enhance their contribution to sustainable development.

Types of deliverables foreseen:

The purpose is to develop a set of standards to become the “ISO 26000 series”:
* Standard ISO 26000
* Implementation standard(s)
* Specific social responsibility issues: standards, technical specifications, technical reports

Comment:
AFNOR is known for well managed standardization work and have developed very many succesful supporting national deliverables related to ISO 26000. AFNOR also managed the stakeholder process that developed ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement – guidance, which is an application of ISO 26000. The TC SR proposal seems well structured. Preferrably the word corporate in the scope statement will be deleted. In the end it is all about the work plan and process of the proposed TC:

* Will the process be as inclusive and balanced as when ISO 26000 was developed? The 2005-2010 process was the broadest and most balanced stakeholder dialogue in the world, which in turn created legitimacy and credibility.

* Will the proposed revision of ISO 26000 result in a new generic or short guidance document, or will the carefully negotiated guidance in substance be kept?

* Will the planned additional deliverables include new certifiable standards?

* Will the ongoing work in related TCs/PCs e.g. sustainable finance, environment, sustainable procurement, sustainable communities, understand and support the proposal?

This and much more will be discussed by the 160+ ISO member countries who will vote by July 14. The result of the ballot will be evaluated by ISO Technical Management Board and decided through correspondence, hopefully before mid-August. If any TMB member wants the issue to be discussed at a formal TMB meeting it will instead be decided at the TMB meeting in September.

4 thoughts on “New committee on SR proposed”

  1. Been involved with the development of ISO 26000 as NGO stakeholder, I strongly supported and agreed with AFNOR initiating a NPI for ISO 26000 series of standards.

  2. As the standards are not mandatory to be followed, the efficacy of the standards remain restricted. The need of the hour is to convince governments make some kind of mandatory reporting on social responsibilty

    1. None of the 22,000 ISO-standards are mandatory. Instead, users (e.g. in public policy or in business agreements) can make ISO-standards mandatory based on needs. Sustainability reporting is already mandatory in for example Europe. Should be everywhere.

  3. Actually in EU, Russian Federation, for instance, the reporting of indicators related to SDG is manadatory for big coprorations, this reporting includes SR performance indicators as well. A lot of companies do report to GRI, that also includes SR. So ISO standards especially when followed by the certification, do act as a great tool to demonstrate the compliance and commitment to SR.

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