ISO 26000 is an international guidance document on social responsibility. It provides an organization with an outline of the principles and core subjects that it should be managing to ensure it identifies and manages a number of societal risks and impacts.
ISO 26000 covers a number of core subject areas including:
- Organizational governance
- Human rights
- Labour practices
- Fair operating practices
- Consumer issues
- Community involvement and development
Some of these areas may already be covered by existing certification such as ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. However, there are a number of areas which may not be managed in such a structured and systematic way. It is these areas that may present a risk to an organization as stakeholders and the media increase the scrutiny of issues such as fair operating practices and supply chain accountability. It is becoming increasingly understood that these issues underpinning the figures on your balance sheet; are vitally important to your reputation; and contribute to the overall success of your business.
ISO 26000 is a guidance document and is not currently a certifiable standard; therefore, it is not structured in the same way as the more common certifiable standards. However, an organization may choose to have a Gap Analysis against the guidance to identify strengths and weaknesses with respect to social responsibility, and confirm areas already addressed by existing certification.
LRQA takes social responsibility and safeguard of human rights seriously. To discuss your social responsibility needs with LRQA, including whether an ISO 26000 gap analysis is right for you, please contact us today.