ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Comments Requested to Report Calling for Corporate Responsibility Standards

New York, Apr 15, 2002

Developing international management system standards by which organizations can operationalize their commitments to environmental, social and economic performance has been an ongoing dialogue for the past year at the international level through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) a Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO). Considering the possible ramifications to international business as well as the impact on human rights, it is critical that stakeholders within the ANSI Federation submit comments to a COPOLCO draft report on the subject.

The COPOLCO working group, Consumer Protection in the Global Marketplace, has released a draft report recommending that ISO develop Corporate Responsibility (CR) standards. [Please note: To access this document from ANSI Online an ID and password will be required. Non-members should contact Kernaghan Webb at the address below.] ANSI, as the U.S. member body to ISO, encourages its members and constituents to comment on this document to inform additional revisions before its final submittal to COPOLCO as well as the development of the Institute's position on the proposal, which will be determined by the ANSI International Committee.

Corporate responsibility refers to achieving commercial success in ways that honor ethical values and benefit people, communities and the natural environment. While many multinational companies would agree with the ethical theories presented in documents on social responsibility, and have developed corporate codes of conduct that prohibit child labor, prison labor, discrimination and promote basic human rights, the implementation of standards at the international level has never been considered before. The report makes the case that, building on the experience of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 standards on quality and the environment respectively, ISO CR management system standards would create an international framework for businesses to assist them in operationalizing their CR obligations and provide verifiable, measurable results and thereby reduce business, consumer and other stakeholder confusion.

Interested parties should send their feedback to James McCabe, ANSI's director of consumer relations and member services, at and to Kernaghan Webb, senior legal policy advisor and chief of research at the Canadian Office of Consumer Affairs, at by April 25, 2002, 5:00 pm Eastern time. Please note that only comments that are prepared using the ISO comments template form will be considered by the COPLCO working group review team.

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