ISO 26000

ISO 26000 Certification

Social responsibility implementation assessment

Social responsibility implementation assessment


ISO 26000 is an international standard developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) that provides guidance on social responsibility. It was published in 2010. ISO 26000 is a voluntary standard that aims to promote the integration of social responsibility into the core activities and policies of organisations. It provides guidance on understanding, implementing, and promoting socially responsible behaviour, both within organisations and in their relationships with stakeholders.

WHAT IS ISO 26000?

ISO 26000 is a standard that guides social responsibility, offering recommendations and best practices for organisations to integrate social responsibility into their operations. It aims to promote responsible behaviour and help organisations contribute to sustainable development. However, it does not have a formal certification process or a system for organisations to become ISO 26000 certified.

Organisations can use ISO 26000 as a reference to develop and improve their social responsibility practices. They can align their activities with the principles and core subjects outlined in the standard but cannot obtain an official ISO 26000 certification.


The ISO 26000 standard is important for several reasons. Here are the key reasons why ISO 26000 is considered significant:

Promoting Social Responsibility: ISO 26000 encourages organisations to adopt and promote socially responsible behaviour. It guides integrating social responsibility into organisational practices, helping businesses contribute positively to society.
Stakeholder Engagement: The standard emphasises the importance of engaging with stakeholders and considering their interests and concerns. ISO 26000 encourages organisations to establish effective communication channels, promote dialogue, and involve stakeholders in decision-making.
Comprehensive Approach: ISO 26000 covers a wide range of social responsibility topics. It addresses core subjects such as human rights, labour practices, environmental sustainability, fair operating practices, consumer issues, organisational governance, and community involvement. This comprehensive approach ensures that organisations consider multiple dimensions of social responsibility.
Global Consensus: ISO 26000 is an international standard developed by consensus among various stakeholders, including governments, NGOs, businesses, and consumer organisations. This global consensus ensures that ISO 26000 reflects a balanced and widely accepted view of social responsibility, making it a valuable reference for organisations worldwide.
Guidance for Implementation: ISO 26000 provides practical advice on how organisations can implement social responsibility principles. It offers recommendations for assessing social responsibility, integrating it into management systems, and monitoring performance. This guidance helps organisations navigate the complexities of social responsibility and implement effective practices.
Reputation and Credibility: Adhering to ISO 26000 can enhance an organisation's reputation and credibility. Demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility can build trust among stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, and the public. It can also differentiate organisations from competitors and attract socially conscious partners and customers.
Risk Management and Sustainability: ISO 26000 encourages organisations to identify and manage social, environmental, and ethical risks. By considering the broader impacts of their activities, organisations can improve risk management practices and contribute to long-term sustainability.
• Innovation and Market Opportunities: Embracing social responsibility principles can drive innovation and create new market opportunities. Organisations that proactively respond to societal needs and expectations can identify emerging trends, develop sustainable products and services, and tap into growing market segments.

Objectives and Benefits

ISO 26000 does not offer audit certification or a formal audit process. Instead, ISO 26000 provides guidance on social responsibility, offering recommendations for organisations to integrate responsible practices into their operations. The standard focuses on objectives and benefits related to social responsibility rather than audit certification. The benefits it offers are:

  • Minimise compliance risks - by complying with national and international statutory requirements for a socially responsible business.
  • Increase consumer loyalty – by demonstrating your organisation’s commitment to a socially sustainable business model.
  • Avoid negative publicity – by providing clear methods that work towards safeguarding your organisation’s reputation.
  • Have a highly motivated workforce - which benefits from improved working conditions, and creates superior quality products and services.
  • Prove your organisation’s socially conscious credentials – by Integrating key elements of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria and sustainability frameworks into corporate governance.


TÜV SÜD is a reputable certification body that offers a wide range of certification services, including ISO 26000.

Expertise and Experience: TÜV SÜD has extensive knowledge and experience in certification and auditing. With a global presence and a strong track record, TÜV SÜD has a team of qualified professionals who understand the requirements of ISO 26000 and can provide reliable and thorough certification services.

Credibility and Recognition: TÜV SÜD is well-regarded in the industry, known for its high standards and rigorous auditing processes. Implementing ISO 26000 through TÜV SÜD adds credibility and recognition to your organisation's social responsibility efforts, demonstrating your commitment to responsible business practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the 5 key elements of CSR?

    ISO 26000, a guidance document on social responsibility, identifies five key elements of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility):

    • Organisational Governance: This element emphasises the importance of ethical and transparent decision-making processes within an organisation, including accountability, stakeholder engagement, and compliance with laws and regulations.
    • Human Rights: This element focuses on respecting and promoting human rights within an organisation's sphere of influence, such as ensuring fair treatment, diversity, and non-discrimination in employment practices.
    • Labour Practices: This element addresses fair and respectful labour practices, including providing safe working conditions, fair wages, reasonable working hours, and promoting employee well-being and development.
    • Environment: This element highlights the need for sustainable environmental practices, such as reducing environmental impact, conserving resources, managing waste, and promoting eco-friendly initiatives.
    • Community Involvement and Development: This element emphasises the importance of actively engaging with communities, supporting their development, and contributing positively to social and economic well-being through initiatives like philanthropy, volunteering, and partnerships.

    These five elements serve as a framework for organisations to consider and integrate into their operations and decision-making processes, fostering responsible behaviour and sustainable development.



  • What are the benefits of implementing ISO 26000 in small and medium enterprises?

    Implementing ISO 26000 in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can bring several benefits:

    Competitive Advantage: Implementing ISO 26000 can give SMEs a competitive edge. Many consumers prefer supporting businesses prioritising social responsibility, and ISO 26000 certification can help SMEs stand out as responsible and ethical organisations.
    • Improved Stakeholder Relations: ISO 26000 emphasises stakeholder engagement, allowing SMEs to understand and address the needs and expectations of customers, employees, suppliers, and local communities. This engagement fosters positive relationships, increases trust, and leads to long-term loyalty and support.
    • Risk Management: ISO 26000 helps SMEs identify and manage social, environmental, and ethical risks. By proactively addressing these risks, SMEs can prevent potential issues, minimise adverse impacts, and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. This proactive approach to risk management can lead to greater stability and sustainability for the business.
    • Cost Savings: Implementing ISO 26000 can result in cost savings for SMEs. By adopting sustainable practices, such as energy and resource efficiency, waste reduction, and responsible supply chain management, SMEs can reduce operational costs, increase resource productivity, and achieve long-term cost savings.
    • Employee Engagement and Retention: ISO 26000 promotes fair labour practices and employee well-being. By prioritising employee rights, providing a safe and inclusive work environment, and offering opportunities for development and growth, SMEs can enhance employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
    • Innovation and Market Opportunities: ISO 26000 encourages SMEs to identify and integrate emerging societal needs into their business strategies. By responding to these needs and developing innovative products or services, SMEs can tap into new market opportunities and gain a competitive advantage.



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