ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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U.S. TAG on ISO Social Responsibility Standard Seeks Participants


New York, Feb 14, 2006

In response to recent and ongoing corporate scandals, environmental disasters, child labor violations, and dangerous work environments, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has launched the development of its first standard on social responsibility. A member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Society for Quality (ASQ) is seeking participants to help develop the U.S. position on the draft standard.

ASQ is inviting experts from a variety of industries to join a new team – the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Social Responsibility. This panel of experts will serve as the U.S. contingent in developing an international standard that will guide organizations throughout the world in addressing their obligations to social responsibility. As the official U.S. member of the ISO, ANSI selected ASQ to create and administer the TAG.

“There could not be a more timely opportunity for organizations to join together and make their voices heard about the issue of social responsibility,” said Jerry Mairani, ASQ president. “With no standard currently in place, this panel will be instrumental in molding a historic document. It’s clear that the choices we make today to ensure a more ethical work and living environment will certainly have a major impact tomorrow.”

To ensure a balanced, diverse pool of experience, ASQ is seeking representatives from industry, government, consumer organizations, labor groups, and organizations involved in services, support, and research. Participation in the U.S. TAG will involve a limited number of meetings throughout the year, the review of proposals and working documents, and responding to information or voting requests via e-mail.

One of the first members of the U.S. TAG, the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB), was cited by the original advisory group to ISO as the earliest example of social responsibility. The BBB mission is to promote trust in the marketplace, a core component of social responsibility.

"Building trust is the core of our mission. Given that, the Council of Better Business Bureaus is pleased to support ANSI and ASQ in their efforts to advance greater transparency, integrity and accountability across the spectrum of business organizations in the U.S.," said Steve Cole, president and CEO, Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The Standard (also known as ISO 26000) is targeted for publication during the fourth quarter of 2008 and will provide guiding principles on social responsibility for all types of organizations. It will not be a management system standard and is not meant for certification purposes. It will, however, provide direction for those companies that recognize the strong connection between results and responsibility.

If you are interested in shaping the U.S. position of the standard or would like more information, please contact ASQ’s Standards Team at standards@asq.org or visit www.asq.org/social-responsibility.

ASQ works to create better workplaces and communities worldwide by promoting learning, quality improvement, and the exchange of knowledge. Comprised of more than 90,000 individual and organizational members, ASQ offers technologies, concepts, tools, and training to quality professionals, quality practitioners, and everyday consumers.

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