ANSI Announces Availability of International Social Responsibility Standard, ISO 26000

Nov 01, 2010, 09:48 ET from American National Standards Institute

NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is pleased to announce that ISO 26000, Guidance on social responsibility, is now available on the ANSI webstore. This highly anticipated standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) integrates international expertise on social responsibility (SR), detailing what it means, what issues organizations need to address to operate in a socially responsible manner, and what the best practices are for implementing SR effectively and efficiently.

ISO 26000 is designed to assist public and private organizations in contributing to a more sustainable global economy by establishing common guidance on social responsibility concepts, definitions, and methods of evaluation. It is intended for use by organizations in both developed and developing areas of the world, as well as economies in transition.

"Operating in a socially responsible manner is no longer an option," said ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele. "It is becoming a requirement of society worldwide. What makes ISO 26000 exceptional among the many already existing social responsibility initiatives is that it distills a truly international consensus on what social responsibility means and what core subjects need to be addressed to implement it."

The standard complements existing public- and private-sector SR initiatives, including intergovernmental agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, developed respectively by the UN and its constituent organization the International Labour Organization. It offers voluntary guidance, rather than requirements, for socially responsible behavior. As such, it is not for use as a certification standard like ISO 9000 for quality management or ISO 14001 for environmental management.

ISO 26000 was developed over the last six years by the ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility (ISO/WG SR), comprised of representatives from 99 ISO member countries including the United States, plus 42 liaison organizations representing industry, government, society, and consumers. In terms of stakeholder representation, ISO/WG SR was the largest and most broadly based of any single group formed to develop an ISO standard.

The ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the ISO SR working group is administered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). In this capacity, ASQ staff provides administrative facilitation for all aspects of the TAG's work.

About ANSI

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.  

The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

About ISO

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a global network of national standards institutes from 157 countries. It has a current portfolio of more than 16,500 standards for business, government, and society. ISO's standards make up a complete offering for all three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, environmental, and social. ISO standards provide solutions and achieve benefits for almost all sectors of activity, including agriculture, construction, mechanical engineering, manufacturing, distribution, transport, medical devices, information and communication technologies, the environment, energy, quality management, conformity assessment, and services.

SOURCE American National Standards Institute