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Saturday, June 5, 2010

ISO 26000 FDIS is released

ISO 26000 on social responsibility approved for release as Final Draft International StandardPDFPrintE-mail
Written by Ratna Devi   
Tuesday, 01 June 2010 06:35
The way is now open for the publication of ISO 26000, which gives guidance on social responsibility, as an International Standard by the end of year.

The multi-stakeholder ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility (ISO/WG SR), which includes 470 experts and observers from 99 ISO member countries and 42 public and private sector organizations
, approved the draft ISO 26000 for processing as a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) at its 8th plenary meeting on 17-21 May 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The document is now being edited to take account of the consensus reached at the Copenhagen meeting, prior to which  2,482 written comments had been received for processing. ISO 26000 will be released for a two-month FDIS vote by ISO member countries in August-September, followed by publication as a fully fledged ISO International Standard by November.

The ISO/WG SR has a joint leadership provided by the ISO members for Brazil (ABNT) and Sweden (SIS). Its Chair, Jorge E.R. Cajazeira, commented after the successful conclusion to the Copenhagen meeting: "ISO 26000 will provide organizations in both public and private sectors with a new paradigm for helping them to operate in the socially responsible way that society now expects. It will assist them in achieving long-term economic benefits with minimal social costs and minimal harmful impacts on the environment."

Vice-Chair, Staffan Söderberg, declared: "It was a truly heart warming moment when the 100 pages finally found consensus and the 400 experts and observers stood up and clapped their hands. The ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility has delivered a fantastic result and it is time to hand over this valuable guidance standard to the market and all organizations out there."

ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele, speaking at the meeting's opening ceremony, paid tribute to the ISO/WG SR for its efforts which included eight meetings since the first in 2005 and the treatment of more than 25 000 comments.

He underlined the value of the broad stakeholder input that has gone into developing ISO 26000, including the significant input by developing countries: "One of the key arguments that resulted in the recommendation to proceed with the development of ISO 26000 was that such a broad subject would benefit from the widest participation possible and that using the ISO standards development process would maximize this involvement. One of the key groups advocating this argument was developing countries, and the point resonated with everyone."

He underlined that ISO 26000 is a guidance standard, not a specification document intended for third party certification, and that ISO would be vigilant in seeing that this was respected. The ISO Secretary-General reiterated the market expectations for ISO 26000, which include:

* Global agreement on SR definitions, and on the principles of SR
* Global agreement on the core subjects of SR
* Guidance on how to integrate SR throughout an organization.

The meeting was hosted by the ISO member for Denmark, Danish Standards, and the Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, whose Minister, Brian Mikkelsen, commented: "We have today achieved broad global support on the meaning and practices of social responsibility. This is a huge step forward. Companies and organizations around the world will have a mutual starting point for working with social responsibility."


Decision confirmed to advance ISO 26000 to Final Draft International Standard


iso/srThe future ISO 26000 standard giving guidance on social responsibility has just passed another important development stage with confirmation that support by ISO's national members and by participating liaison organizations is strong enough for it to be progressed to a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS). This is the final stage in the development of an ISO standard before it is published as a fully fledged ISO International Standard.
In mid-February, ISO's national standards body (NSB) members voted in favour of moving the Draft International Standard (DIS) version to FDIS status. However, in order to also assess support from the 42 international liaison organizations participating in the ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility (ISO/WG SR), its leadership reviewed the views and comments of these organizations before formally proceeding to FDIS.
The liaison organizations include associations representing business, civil society NGOs, consumers or labour, and include groupings of both inter-governmental and non-governmental origin. They do not have voting rights, but have actively and directly participated in developing ISO 26000 and commenting on the document.
Following the positive mid-February vote, the leaders of the ISO/WG SR have concluded that there is the requisite support for registering the current document as ISO/FDIS 26000.
With this decision now formally confirmed, the ISO/WG SR will next focus on addressing the 2 650 comments received during the course of the vote from ISO members and liaison organizations in order to increase the level of consensus and the quality of the document even further.
With this objective in mind, the group's drafting task force will look into all comments received and prepare proposed ways forward on key topics identified for discussion among the ISO/WG SR experts at its next meeting to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May 2010.
After the meeting, a new revised document will be finalized based on the agreements reached in Copenhagen. This document will be circulated as an FDIS for a two-month ballot and, if approved on the FDIS vote, ISO 26000 could be published as an International Standard by the end of this year.
Announcing its decision and the path forward to the members of the ISO/WG SR, its leadership declared: "We take this opportunity to thank you all for the valuable comments submitted, and also to re-emphasize our expectation that all comments received will be given fair and equitable treatment in Copenhagen in order to further enhance consensus. By this we mean all comments, whether they were submitted by NSBs voting affirmative or negative, or whether they were submitted byliaison organizations."
ISO 26000 will provide harmonized, globally relevant guidance based on international consensus among expert representatives of the main stakeholder groups and so encourage the implementation of social responsibility worldwide. The guidance in ISO 26000 draws on best practice developed by existing public and private sector SR initiatives and is intended to be useful to organizations large and small in both these sectors.
The ISO/WG SR is made up of experts from ISO members (NSBs) and from liaison organizations. Membership is limited to a maximum of six experts per NSB and two experts per liaison organisation. In total, the group comprises 436 participating experts and 195 observers from 94 ISO member countries and 42 liaison organizations.
  • For more information on ISO 26000 and the ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility, see the dedicated Website: This Website includes documents giving the background to ISO’s SR initiative, documents and press releases on the progress of the work and how it is being carried out, the membership and structure of the WG SR, how to participate in the development of ISO 26000, a newsletter, development timeframe, FAQs, contacts and other information. Many are available in several languages.
  • Working documents including the DIS can be accessed at A compilation of the comments received on the DIS is being added to this site.


FDIS is here

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