ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, has the 13th of October decided to launch the development of an International Standard providing guidelines for social responsibility (SR). The guidance standard will be published in first week in November 2010 as ISO 26000 and be voluntary to use. It will not include requirements and will thus not be a certification standard.

There is a range of many different opinions as to the right approach ranging from strict legislation at one end to complete freedom at the other. ISO are looking for a golden middle way that promotes respect and responsibility based on known reference documents without stifling creativity and development.

I will publish more about the standard when launched, really looking forward to apply it in real life. However, here is a first hint of what the ISO document will cover:

  1. Foreword
  2. Introduction
  3. Scope
  4. Terms and definitions
  5. Understanding social responsibility
  6. Principles of social responsibility
  7. Recognizing social responsibility and engaging stakehoders
  8. Guidance on social responsibility core subjects
  9. Guidance on implementing practices of social responsibility