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ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility

In a corporate society, businesses are a very powerful component where every organization has a self-regulatory model incorporated into their business model. Business and organizations do not operate in a state of vacuity as their relationship to the society and environment in which they operate is a critical factor in their ability to continue to operate effectively. Nowadays, it is also increasingly being used as a measure of their overall performance.Almost every organization today, have understood the important of corporate social responsibility and are in a search to identify effective ways that assimilatesviable business practices into their core operations. Sustainable business for organizations means not only providing products and services that satisfy the customer and doing so without jeopardizing the environment. It is also about operating in a socially responsible manner.Businesses that neglect to incorporate socially responsible behavior into their strategies, systems and practices are likely to fall behind their competitors.

WHAT IS CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

ISO 26000 provides guidance pertaining to concepts and core issues relating to Social Responsibility, ways to achieve Sustainable Development by engaging with all Stakeholders, and formulating and implementing Socially Responsible Policies and Practices throughout the organization.Social responsibility is an organization’s legal and voluntary duty to consider its social and environmental impact of its decisions and activities. A corporate responsibility strategy outlines the ways that an organization contributes to sustainable development, engages with its stakeholders and behaves ethically. The standard by all means, contains information and recommendations to assist companies in adopting socially responsible practices which enablestranslatingthe specified framework into daily practices through a set of policies and procedures with the aim of acting in an ethical and transparent way that contributes to the health and welfare of society.The ISO 26000 standard provides guidance on:

  • The seven key underlying principles of social responsibility:

  • Recognizing social responsibility and engaging stakeholders
  • The seven core subjects and issues pertaining to social responsibility:

  • Ways to integrate socially responsible behavior into the organization
  • Providing definitions and informations to help organizations understand and address social responsibility where the standard emphasizes the importance of results and performance on social responsibility.

In brief, ISO 26000 is developed to help organizations effectively assess and address those social responsibilities that are relevant and significant to their mission and vision; operations and processes; customers, employees, communities, and other stakeholders; and environmental impact.

WHY ISO 26000 IS IMPORTANT

Social responsibility has become a major topic in the recent years, arising from mounting pressure from the public sphere and stakeholders at large. The need for credible business practices that demonstrates social responsibility, performance, as well as achieving outstanding results, is clearly required. The standard ISO 26000 sets the guidance to ensure for Health, Safety, Environmental, Ethical Trade Practices and Principles for the ultimate business objectives to achieve Sustainable Development. If you want existing and potential customers, stakeholders and employees to understand your organization’s activities and be able to benchmark its achievements, the ISO 26000 Standard guidance on social responsibility should be your guide which helps you operate in the socially responsible manner that society demands.

Adopting ISO 26000 guidance enables organisations to:

It offers best practices where organizations can adapt the guidelines to their own operation, supply chain and markets. The guideline goes far beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR) which is based on a holistic approach for assisting organizations in contributing to sustainable development.

WHO IS IT FOR

ISO 26000, the internationally recognised standard for Social Responsibility is intended for use by organizations of all types, in both public, private and nonprofit sectors, whether large or small, in developed and developing countries, as well as in economies in transition. Its objective is to assist them in their efforts to operate in the socially responsible manner that society increasingly demands.Its objective towards every businesses and organizations is to translate principles into effective actions and shares best practices relating to social responsibility on a global scale. The scope of ISO 26000 towards any organization, regardless of their size or location is to:

  • Assist organizations in addressing their social responsibilities while respecting cultural, societal, environmental, and legal differences and economic development conditions
  • Provide practical guidance related to making social responsibility operational
  • Assist with identifying and engaging with stakeholders and enhancing credibility of reports and claims made about social responsibility Emphasize performance results and improvement
  • Increase confidence and satisfaction in organizations among their customers and other stakeholders
  • Integrating, implementing and promoting socially responsible behavior throughout the organization and, through its policies and practices, within its sphere of influence;
  • Achieve consistency with existing documents, international treaties and conventions, and existing ISO standards
  • Promote common terminology in the social responsibility field
  • Broaden awareness of social responsibility
  • This standard is not intended to reduce government’s authority to address the social responsibility of organizations.

One of the components that make ISO 26000 different from most of the standards under ISO is that it lays down guidance, not on requirements which has a number of benefits on an organization. With increasing customers, staff, stakeholders, investors, business partners, governments and communitiesdecision not to support companies that care little for the planet and the well-being of the people in it, the organization would certainly witness a fall. Another strength is that ISO 26000 is very compatible with other social responsibility initiatives and frameworks (Henriques, 2012). ISO 26000 is consistent with International Labour Organization standards, the Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises to name a few.

BENEFITS

International Organization for Standardization launched the first voluntary guidance on Corporate Social Responsibility that aims to actively promote credible reporting, company accountability and improve market performance. Some of the keys benefits offered by the ISO 26000 for an organisation are:

  • Strategic advantage within each company’s competitive industry
  • Streamlines internal processes and assures the implementation of commitment to social.
  • Responsibility and sustainability.
  • Protects your brand image and increases customer and employee satisfaction.
  • Attracts investors and sponsors concerned with social responsibility and sustainable development.
  • Design and build a social responsibility strategy tailored to your business
  • Adapt this strategy to any legal, cultural or political environment
  • Manage social or environmental issues specific to your business
  • Engage employees, communities and business partners in your strategy
  • Win greater trust and credibility as a socially responsible organization
  • Engage employees, communities, and stakeholders
  • Manage relevant social responsibility issues
  • Trust and Credibility
  • Compliant with international methods

TRAIBCERT certification proves that you possess the necessary skills to lead a project and manage a team effectively. It will enable you to be more confident and competent to define the proper resources needed to deliver projects on time and on budget.

CERTIFICATION ROCESS

Preliminary audit (optional):

TRAIBCERT’s experienced and highly-skilled auditors would listen to you and perform an initial assessment to understand audit issues and maximize your chances of being certified.The audit focuses mainly on the areas of the system that needs further improvements inline with the standard’s requirements, in order to achieve the business objectives. Once identifying and eradicating potential vulnerabilities in the management system, the actual audit in relation to the certification begins.

Certification audit:

This phase is comprised of a stage 1 and stage 2 audit consists of detailed review where, TRAIBCERT’s auditors with expertise and vast knowledge on the industry sectors, assess your documentation, interviews your teams, analyzes your practices, your data against the requirements of the standard inview of fulfilling the requirements. We strive to reveal observations that can add value through reduced costs, increased efficiency, and decreased time to market.

Issue Certificate:

Once our highly competent & qualified auditors who are experts in the sector, identifies that yousatisfy the requirements of ISO 26000, we TRAIBCERT a leading accredited certification body will Issue the ISO 26000 certificate.

Monitoring:

Annual surveillance of the ongoing optimization of your processes and management system would be carried out to ensure adherence of the system with that of the ISO standards.

Renewal:

Upon reaching 3 years from the date of issuance of certificate, the maximum validity of the certificate, we will provide full support to your organization towards the re-certification for the next term.

WHY TRAIBCERT?

TRAIBCERT, an independent accredited third party certifying body always operates under a value system that includes integrity, sound ethics and lawful conduct in order to meet the expectations of our clients. When it comes to ISO 26000, we provide guidance to all types of organizations, over:

  • Concepts, terms and definitions related to social responsibility.
  • The background, trends and characteristics of social responsibility.
  • Principles and practices relating to social responsibility.
  • The core subjects and issues of social responsibility.
  • Identifying and engaging with stakeholders.
  • Communicating commitments, performance and other information related to social responsibility.

Our performance assessment is suitable for all organizations in both public and private sectors, in developed and developing countries, as well as in economies in transition. It works as a tool to identify your organization’s performance level at the time of the assessment that will help you operate in the socially responsible manner that society increasingly demands.

Wherever you are currently, whether you have absolutely nothing in place and want us to ‘make it happen for you’ or if you simply need some advice and guidance for your own team, TRAIBCERT with it's pool of auditors who possess greater experienced and expertise in this field can adapt to provide precisely the level of assistance you require.The Key benefits which our clients enjoy working with us are:

  • A holistic objective based Approach towards the CSR,
  • Better control of the Process, Flow and improved awareness among teams,
  • Cost Effective Service Provision,
  • Leadership with Customer Focus
  • Better documentation of the management processes starting from initial audit phase,
  • A Framework for Continual Improvement of each Processes of Service Management,

TRAIBCERT can help your organization to utilize the ISO 26000 Standard to realize the benefits of socially responsible behavior through effective a gap analysis or a full assessment of your approach to the guidance contained in the standard to help you identify areas of improvement. We also offer awareness training to support you in fully understanding how you can embed the standard in your organization.

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