The French normalisation institute AFNOR announced Feb 17th that the new ISO 26000 guidelines are accepted by the majority of the EU states. Two third of the 90 state members of ISO have confirmed the draft norm.
The new guidelines are intended to assist companies in contributing to Sustainable Development. They are a product of discussions as of 2005 of normalisation institutes, NGO’s and industry representatives. The guidelines are expected to be officially approved after the summer.
‘The international standard is intended to promote common understanding in the field of social responsiblity and intended to complement other instruments and initiatives, not to replace them’ (ISO 26000 Draft)
Objective of the new ISO 26000 guidelines are first of all to create an international definition and clarification of the CSR concept. Secondly, it will offer a framework to companies, regions, associations and labour for the so called ‘stakeholder dialogues’ that generally understood in line with CSR policies.
The Guidelines will include directives on : Company Gouvernance (transparancy, ethical behaviour, dialogues with stakeholders, legal principles and reporting on this) ; Human Rights ; Work Conditions, Environment ; Good Business Practices (anti-corruption, unfair competition); Consumer Questions and Social Engagement.
It won’t be a management system nor a label that is subject of qualification (like ISO 9001 for quality or ISO 14001 for environmental responsility). It won’t be a directive either, with sanctions to companies that do not apply the principles. There is a large freedom of application.
‘It is an individuals organisations reponsibilty to identify what is relevant and significant for the organisation to address, through its own considerations and dialogues with stakeholders’. (ISO 26000 draft)
sources : 1. http://www.actu-environnement.com/ae/news/projet_norme_internationale_RSO-ISO_26000_9627.php4#xtor=ES-6 2. Moratis en Cochius, ISO 26000 Handleiding voor MVO, 2010.
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