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ISO Releases Draft International Standard on Social Responsibility

New York, Sep 14, 2009

The International Organization for Standardization Working Group on Social Responsibility (ISO SR) has announced that ISO 26000, Guidance on social responsibility, is now published as a Draft International Standard (DIS).

ISO 26000 is intended to assist in ushering companies, government agencies, and other organizations toward a more sustainable global economy by establishing common guidance on social responsibility concepts, definitions, and methods of evaluation.

National member bodies of ISO are now invited to vote and comment on the text of the DIS during a five-month balloting period. Participating liaison organizations can also comment. Comments received by the February 14, 2010, deadline will be discussed at the next ISO SR meeting in May 2010.

If the outcome of the DIS voting is positive, the modified document will then be circulated to the ISO members as a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS). If that vote is positive, ISO 26000 will then be published as an International Standard in late 2010.

Several key messages about ISO 26000 are included in the introduction of the DIS. They state that the document:

  • Provides guidance on the underlying principles of social responsibility, the core subjects and issues pertaining to social responsibility, and the ways to integrate socially responsible behavior into existing organizational strategies, systems, practices, and processes.

  • Is intended to be useful to all types of organizations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, whether large or small, and whether operating in developed or developing countries.

  • Is not a management system standard. It is not intended or appropriate for certification purposes or regulatory or contractual use.

  • Is intended for use by those beginning to address social responsibility as well as those more experienced with its implementation.

The ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO SR is administered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). In this capacity, ASQ staff provides administrative facilitation for all aspects of the TAG’s work.

To receive a copy of the ISO 26000 DIS or for more information, contact Steven P. Cornish, ANSI senior director for international policy ( Comments can be sent to until December 14, 2009 using this template.

To learn more about ISO 26000, see the related ISO news item.

For more information, see these related ANSI news items: