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Social responsibility and ISO 26 000 Pr. Sophie Robin-Olivier Ecole de droit de la Sorbonne Université Paris I.

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Presentation on theme: "Social responsibility and ISO 26 000 Pr. Sophie Robin-Olivier Ecole de droit de la Sorbonne Université Paris I."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social responsibility and ISO 26 000 Pr. Sophie Robin-Olivier Ecole de droit de la Sorbonne Université Paris I

2 Social responsibility (SR) "Sustainable" organizations => not only providing products and services that satisfy customers, but doing so without jeopardizing the environment and also operating in a socially responsible manner Pressure of customers, consumers, governments, associations… Idea also that (some) corporations tend to recognize that lasting success depends on a responsible behaviour and, for instance, the prevention of such activities as fraudulent accounting or labour exploitation.

3 Legal developments concerning SR Various high-level declarations of principle related to SR ILO declaration on Core Labour standards (1998) Global Compact SR individual programmes and initiatives in specific industries or corporations Codes of conduct

4 challenge = Put the principles into practice Question: How can SR be effectively and efficiently implemented, when even the understanding of what “social responsibility” means may vary from one instrument to another ?

5 ISO ? International Organization for Standardization ISO is a network of the national standards bodies of 163 countries ISO standards are developed by technical committees(subcommittees or project committees) comprising experts from the industrial, technical and business sectors which have asked for the standards, and which subsequently put them to use. These experts may be joined by representatives of government agencies, testing laboratories, consumer associations, non-governmental organizations and academic circles. An ISO standard contains a technical norm = normative document

6 Overview of ISO 26 000 Goal: implementation of best practice in social responsibility worldwide "The International Standard ISO 26000:2010, Guidance on social responsibility", provides harmonized, globally relevant guidance for private and public sector organizations based on international consensus among expert representatives of the main stakeholder groups ISO 26000 contains voluntary guidance, no requirements = is not for use as a certification standard like other ISO norms

7 ISO 26 000 Presents itself as "a globally relevant understanding of what social responsibility means and what organizations need to do to operate in a socially responsible way"

8 ISO 26 000 is designed to extend SR by: – Developing an international consensus on what SR means and the SR issues that organizations need to address – Providing guidance on translating principles into effective actions – Refining best practices that have already evolved – disseminating the information worldwide for the good of the international community.

9 Content of the norm Concepts, terms and definitions related to social responsibility Background, trends and characteristics of social responsibility Principles and practices relating to social responsibility Core subjects and issues related to social responsibility Methods to integrate, implemente and promote socially responsible behaviour throughout the organization and, through its policies and practices, within its sphere of influence Ways to interact with stakeholders Tools to communicate commitments, performance and other information related to social responsibility.

10 Structure Foreword Introduction 1 Scope 2 Terms and definitions 3 Understanding social responsibility 4 Principles of social responsibility 5 Recognizing social responsibility and engaging stakeholders 6 Guidance on social responsibility core subjects 7 Guidance on integrating social responsibility throughout an organization Annex A – Examples of voluntary initiatives and tools for social responsibility Annex B – Abbreviated terms Bibliography

11 Inspiration ISO 26000 draws on best practice developed by existing public and private sector SR initiatives. It is presenting itself as "consistent with" and a complement to declarations and conventions by the United Nations and its constituents, namely the International Labour Organization (ILO), with whom ISO has established a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure consistency with ILO labour standards ISO has also signed MoUs with the United Nations Global Compact Office (UNGCO) and with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to enhance their cooperation on the development of ISO 26000

12 Who developed the norm ? Representation of different stakeholder groups: industry, government, labour, consumers (nongovernmental organizations)… geographical and gender-based balance of participants Joint leadership of the ISO members for Brazil (ABNT) and Sweden (SIS) + experts from ISO members (national standards bodies) and from liaison organizations (associations representing business, consumers or labour, or inter-governmental or nongovernmental organizations) In July 2010, the group in charge had 450 participating experts and 210 observers from 99 ISO member countries and 42 liaison organizations

13 Conclusion Advantages? Consensus on SR ? Not so evident though because of a necessary selection from national and international norms… Fosters actions at corporate level by using a language that is accessible for corporations ? Risks What about law ? What kind of a combination between that « norm » and law at different levels ? Interpretation ? By whom ?

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