An updated overview of ISO/CD 26000
Reference to earlier blog: Thinking about CSR and the next step forward !
In my earlier blog I have referred to the Working Draft of the Guide for Social Responsibility. It has now become the Committee Draft, and hence this update.
In the next step it would be designated as DIS, that is Draft International Standard, after revisions, if any and then issued as IS, that is International Standard. In case of this Standard, it would be called Guide, it is said.
Studying the standard as it takes shape would enable an organization to be in the fore front and adopt it as soon as it gets released. The guide has already taken considerable time for its formulation due to extended consultations and as the social issues to be attended to are on the increase, it is considered that a quick adoption would be a fitting response from the corporate sector.
The update is posted in three parts, (a), (b) and (c) to make the reading less tedious!
The standard is formulated with the following contents:
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 the organization
Annex A – Voluntary initiatives and tools for social responsibility
Annex B – Abbreviations
1 to 5 is educative;
6 and 7 is implementation guide;
Annex A is informative;
Annex B and Bibliography is for reference.
That is, 6 and 7 are the operative clauses and others serve as input.
First a keen study of the bibliography!
In the bibliography there are 125 references. This, in a way, is indicative of the topics covered in the Guide. Hence, I took up a study of the bibliography and attempting to share the findings with the community.
The referenced instruments are those published by:
International Labour Organization – 66 references
United Nations – 36
OECD – 6
IPCC – 1
ISO – 13
Others – 3
The references range from those published in the year, as early as 1919 and as recent as 2007.
A partial listing of the topics is as follows: (Though it covers the most in the bibliography, it may be treated only as indicative and the original document must be referred for authentic list of the publications, please.)
Topics addressed by ILO referenced
Hours of work Weekly Rest Forced Labour
Hours of Work Holidays with pay Rights at Work
Protection of Wages Workers Right Remuneration
Social Security Workers’ Health Welfare Facilities
Weekly Rest Communications Grievances Handling
Minimum Wage Workers’ Representative Minimum age
Educational Leave Human development Migrant workers
Older Workers OH&S Family Responsibilities
Termination of Employment Indigenous and Tribal people Chemicals
Night Work Workers’ Claims Part-Time work
Private employment Agencies Child Labour Maternity
MNE and Social policy S&H in Agriculture Relationship at work place
OECD addressed topics referenced
Consumer Protection MNE and Social policy
Security of IS and Networks Trans-border Flows of Personal Data
Corporate Governance Consumer Protection
UN and UNEP addressed topics of concern referenced
Human Rights Treatment of Prisoners of War
Protection of Civilians in Time of War Racial Discrimination
Civil and Political Rights Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Waterfowl Habitat Discrimination against Women
Discrimination based on Religion or Belief Inhuman Treatment
Our Common Future Rights of Child
Civil and Political Rights Migrant Workers
Minorities Environment and Development
Desertification Social Development
Climate Change Consumer Protection
Child Labour Millennium Declaration
HIV/AIDS Sustainable Development
Cultural Heritage Ecosystem
Rights of Persons with Disabilities Discrimination
Enforced Disappearance of Persons Corporate Governance
Global Environment Indigenous and Tribal people
Endangered Species-Wild Flauna and Flora Regional seas
Migratory Species- Wild Animals Ozone Layer
Hazardous Waste Biological Diversity
Persistant Organic Pollutants(POPs) Hazardous chemicals
(The above list may almost serve as a check list for an initial review as to know where an organization stands.
These topics have potential to influence the well being of many people. All topics would not be applicable to all; but if every organization takes up those topics that are relevant to them all the topics could be covered.)
A study of these topics indicate that the topics of concern include
– composite subjects like Sustainable Development to
– specific topic such as Maternity, Child Labour, Migrant workers and so on.
It is noticed that there are subjects which has relevance
– internally to an organization and
– external to the organization.
An organization may choose to first fulfill internal needs to the maximum and move outwards subsequently or move in both directions simultaneously.
Similarly, there are issues related to gender equality; for people in the organized sector and people in unorganized sector; those regarding young employees and old; those for the present and those focusing on future.
It is all up to the organization to make the choice.
An organization may focus their attention on those topics they identify as importantand they may choose them based on
– the earliest concern, if it still remains unattended;
– the severest on humanity, such as racial discrimination;
– the latest, such as climate change;
– the simplest but not addressed so far, such as working time related issues;
– the issue addressed by both ILO and UN;
– the basic needs as per the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but still remaining unfulfilled
And so on.
Companies, though not all, indeed are addressing CSR and in different ways. But in a global economy it may be preferable for an organization to adopt an international approach to such concerns and be above board with respect to compliance to national level legal and statutory requirements. An adoption of the ISO standard is likely to put the organization in the clear and full knowledge of why certain issues are addressed and why certain are not.
As may be seen from the list above, there would be many relevant subjects to be addressed by every organization.
It is hoped that a BPX may help organizations to make the right choice and enable it through IT.
In the next blog, it is proposed to write about the Annex A of the Guide.
Readers may like to join Pacific Institute, http://inni.pacinst.org/inni/ to get additional views on the Guide and also for access to the Draft Standard ISO/CD 26000.