ISO 26000 provides guidance on how businesses and organizations can operate in a socially responsible way. This means acting in an ethical and transparent way that contributes to the health and welfare of society.
ISO 26000:2010 provides guidance rather than requirements, so it cannot be certified like e.g. ISO 9001 or ISO 14001. Instead, it helps clarify what social responsibility is, helps businesses and organizations translate principles into effective actions and shares best practices relating to social responsibility, globally. It is aimed at all types of organizations regardless of their activity, size or location.
The standard was launched by ISO, the International Standards Organisation, on September 12th, 2010 following five years of negotiations between many different stakeholders across the world. Representatives from government, NGOs, industry, consumer groups and labour organizations around the world were involved in its development, which means it represents an international consensus.
Austria was represented by the Austrian Standards Institute (AS), which is a member of ISO. With a view to coordinating Austrian viewpoints and interests, the AS set up a Corporate Social Responsibility committee with members representing industry, government, employers and labour organisations, consumers, NGOs, science and research, which also included the BMWFW and respACT-austrian business council for sustainable development.