Defining social responsibility with BS ISO 26000
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Defining social responsibility with BS ISO 26000

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Slides from the presentations given at the launch event for BS ISO 26000.

Slides from the presentations given at the launch event for BS ISO 26000.

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  • Joint leadership – twinning of developing and developed countries – trying to be used across ISO MoUs provided consistency in the document with existing work Publically available documents increased transparency of process Six stakeholder groups provided rigour to the process and balanced input.
  • definitions Definitions of often contentious issues such as “international norms of behaviour”, “sphere of influence” and “stakeholder”. Many of these were agonized over for years! Crucial of course is the first international definition of “Social responsibility”. Background Background, trends and characteristics of SR makes clear fact this is about SR – not just for corporations, and provides information on the relevance to small businesses, and the state. Principles Adhering to the 7 principles of SR outlined in the standard is key to embedding social responsibility into the core business strategy.

Defining social responsibility with BS ISO 26000 Defining social responsibility with BS ISO 26000 Presentation Transcript

  • The Background to ISO 26000 Adrian Henriques Chair UK Mirror Committee
  • A new approach
    • Joint leadership between Sweden and Brazil
    • First time that there has been more developing than developed country involvement in standard
    • MoUs with ILO, UNGC and OECD
  • Working Group Membership
    • Some 450 experts & nearly 200 Observers
    • Over 90 countries represented
    • Over 40 Liaison organisations
    • 6 stakeholder groups
  • Stakeholder Groups Showing numbers of experts at Copenhagen Meeting 2010
  • ISO 26000 Governance
  • Timetable 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 COPOLCO resolution ISO Approval Brazil Meeting Thailand meeting ISO 26000 issued Portugal Meeting Australia Meeting Austria Meeting Chile Meeting Copenhagen Meeting Quebec Meeting
  • Structure of the Standard
    • Scope
    • Terms and definitions
    • Understanding social responsibility
    • Principles of social responsibility
    • Recognizing social responsibility and engaging stakeholders
    • Guidance on social responsibility core subjects
    • Guidance on integrating social responsibility
    • Annex A – Social Responsibility Initiatives
    • Bibliography
  • What is Social Responsibility?
    • social responsibility
    • responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behaviour that:
      • contributes to sustainable development, including health and the welfare of society
      • takes into account the expectations of stakeholders
      • is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behaviour
      • is integrated throughout the organization and practiced in its relationships.
    • NOTE 1 Activities include products, services and processes
    • NOTE 2 Relationships refer to an organization’s activities within its sphere of influence
  • Principles
    • Principles of SR
    • Accountability
    • Transparency
    • Ethical behaviour
    • Respect for stakeholder interests
    • Respect for rule of law
    • Respect for international norms of behaviour
    • Respect for human rights
  •  
  • The Significance of ISO 26000
    • It is not perfect!
    • But it has
    • Legitimised social responsibility and brought it to a much wider audience
    • Provided a practical ethical baseline for organisational behaviour
  • The labour view on ISO 26000 Ben Moxham Trades Union Congress Region
  • Moving the debate forward…
    • Labour sceptical of CSR but ISO 26000 can clear out the undergrowth:
      • Being “socially responsible” is about impacts, not sponsoring fun runs
      • Due diligence vs sphere of influence
      • Stakeholders: “those holding a stake”
      • Grounded in international law
  • International Norms
    • What happens if local law is in conflict with international norms?
    • ISO 26000: organisations should strive to respect international norms, or review activities.
    • Some “wiggle room” to reflect diversity
  • To certify or not?
    • Labour agreed with many that ISO 26000 should not be certifiable:
      • Can we give a clean bill of health?
      • Could it mislead?
      • A poor alternative to a collective bargaining?
    • Does this downgrade the relevance of ISO 26000?
  • Role of government and the state
    • Following Ruggie, states protect human rights, organisations respect them
    • But what about governmental organisations? State-owned enterprises?
  • Sexual orientation
    • An emerging prohibited ground for discrimination? Not emerging enough
    • Copenhagen process: 60 experts, many meetings, and 30-40 alternative suggestions
    • “ personal relationships” – constructive ambiguity wins the day!
  • ISO 26000 – Industry View Miles Watkins Director – Sustainable Construction Aggregate Industries UK Ltd
  • Is there an industry view?
    • Participants were from a very wide range of countries, sectors and size of business
    • Some had more time to dedicate than others - 100% engagement required to be effective
    • The weight of voice was not equal amongst participants
    • The industry group was well organised – but just as political as the process as a whole
    • A fairly strong but not unanimous opposition to the standard from the outset.
  • Guidance not certification – the role of trust
    • Subsequent to failing to prevent the standard being created, the major asset was its status as a guidance document
    • However , processes were already being developed at country level to move to normative standards around sustainability
    • Major concerns around the ability to completely implement the standard although alignment on the intent
    • More concern around the targeting of business rather than ALL organisations
    • Some concern about the potential hijacking of the standard by labour organisations.
  • International Norms – best practice, imperialism or just inappropriate?
    • Concerns about industrial installations and supply chain activities in places where culture is not derived from Western values
    • Concern about whether this would be seen as a reason to not do ‘SR’
    • Hard to distinguish in the standard between impossible – inappropriate – difficult
    • The role of expectations of local society and the business
    • Costs of operating and competing – SR pays in the long run not necessarily at month end.
  • Sphere of Influence – The great blue orb or Bluewater?
    • Again implement-ability issues here
    • Edges of responsibility of business are under constant pressure and there is little desire to lubricate that process
    • Out-reach to UN work (Ruggie) to provide some external credibility to the Industry position
    • Not sure the result is that helpful – be careful who your friends are and use your relationship to the best effect for society.
  • On reflection…
    • The standard highlights the difficult nature of social responsibility
    • Industry has done more than most but probably still has the most to do
    • ISO 26000 has not necessary moved the debate forward but it has brought together SR in its many facets – and that is a major contribution in its own right.