For the third time since publication 2010 the ISO members (160+ country members) have been asked whether their stakeholders want to i) Confirm (i.e. keep as is) ii) Revise/amend iii) Withdraw the standard ISO 26000. This “systematic review” is done automatically by ISO, or when needed, for all of 20,000+ standards. The members decide what standards are to be developed and are relevant, through ballots.
The result from the 2020/21 systematic review is a weak majority towards confirm:
- Confirm: 21 countries 55 % (21/(21+17))
- Revise/amend: 17 countries 45 % (17/(21+17))
- Withdraw: 0 countries
- Abstain due to lack of consensus: 8 countries
- Abstain due to lack of national expert input: 3 countries
For more information about the details of the ballot please contact your National Standards Body or Mr. José Alcorta at ISO.
In conclusion, ISO member bodies have voted to keep ISO 26000:2010 in its current version and not to open the standard for revision or amendment. This was a somewhat unexpected result as many users of ISO 26000 have stated that they wanted to revise ISO 26000 to address Agenda 2030, include the many new related ISO-standard (e.g. 20400 Sustainable Procurement), and further improve readability. Apparently a majority of countries find the guidance and 450+ recommendations in ISO 26000 to be sufficently relevant. Perhaps that speaks loudly to what happens when a broad stakeholder based engagement process is applied: the product becomes more sustainable over time. As stated in ISO 26000.
Next step? Those companies/organizations that use the standard, especially in the 80+ countries that have adopted (approved, translated, made available) ISO 26000, can continue their journey towards “maximizing the contribution to sustainable development” as it is called in the standard.