Corporate Responsibility

Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

Organizations around the world, and their stakeholders are becoming increasingly aware of the need for and benefits of socially responsible behavior because


Meeting the current needs of the society without jeopardizing the needs of the future generations

Economic benefits to the organization

  • Goodwill
  • Ability to attract and retain workers and clients
  • Better relationship with other companies, governments, media, suppliers, community, etc.
  • Operational Cost efficiency

ISO 26001:2010

ISO 26000 is an International Standard giving guidance/recommendations about how any organization can improve its Social Responsibility and thus contribute to sustainable development.

ISO 26000 is not certifiable, as it does not contain requirements. Its appeal is to those who, for whatever reasons, seek to improve their operating processes and impacts through socially responsible behavior.

What makes ISO 26000 important and credible?

  • It is designed to work in all organizational and cultural contexts – in any country or region
  • It is flexible and the user decides how to use it
  • It was internationally negotiated through ISO’s consensus method, using a multi-stakeholder approach, and  balance to reflect global diversity.
  • It incorporates the real-life experiences of its many contributors, and at the same time builds on international norms and agreements related to Social Responsibility

ISO 26000 can be used by any organization, for example:

  • large multi-national corporations
  • small and medium size enterprises
  • the public sector (hospitals, schools or others)
  • foundations, charities and NGOs
  • extractive industries, such as mining and fossil fuel companies
  • service and financial industries (banks, IT, insurance)
  • municipal governments
  • farmers and agribusiness
  • consultancies


ISO 26000 provides guidance to all types of organizations about the concepts, characteristics, principles, core subjects, integration and implementation of SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY


The term social responsibility came into widespread use in early 1970s as different types of organizations (not just the ones in the business world) recognized the importance of sustainable development

The elements of social responsibility reflect the expectations of the society and therefore liable to change over a period of time

Globalization is the key factor for increase in awareness of social responsibility

  • Greater accessibility
  • Higher scrutiny

The expectations of the society regarding organizations social performances has increased gradually


1. Accountability
2. Transparency
3. Ethical behavior
4. Respect for stakeholder interests
5. Respect for the rule of law
6. Respect for international norms of behavior
7. Respect for human rights


An organization should be accountable for the impact of its decisions and activities on society, overall economy and environment.
Organization must

  • Accept and respond to scrutiny
  • Be answerable to the stakeholders


Transparency means

  • Openness about decisions and activities that affect society, the economy and the environment, and
  • Willingness to communicate the decisions in a clear, accurate, timely, honest and complete manner

Organization must be transparent about

  • The purpose, nature and location of its activities
  • The manner in which the decisions are made, implemented and reviewed.
  • Standards and criteria against which it evaluates its own social performance
  • The known impacts of its activities on stakeholders


Organization’s behavior should be based on values of honesty and fairness.
It should be evident from the behavior of the organization that it is concerned with the people, animals and the environment.

Ethical behavior is visible through below actions

  • Identifying and stating the core values and principles
  • Promotion and observance of its own standard ethics
  • Defining the ethical behavior that is expected from its suppliers and contractors.
  • Recognizing and addressing situations where local laws do not exist or are in conflict with the right ethics.
  • Maintaining mechanisms to facilitate the reporting of unethical behavior without fear of reprisal


An Organization should

  • Identify its stakeholders
  • Recognize the interests as well as the legal rights of the stakeholders
  • Respond to the stakeholder’s concerns
  • Consider valid views of even those stakeholders who do not have any formal agreement with the organization


An Organization should

  • Keep itself informed of all the legal obligations it must follow
  • Comply with all the legal regulations of all jurisdictions under which it operates.
  • Periodically review its compliance with applicable laws


“In situations where the law or its implementation does not provide for adequate environmental or social safeguards, an organization should strive to respect, as a minimum, international norms of behavior.”
International norms of behavior are “…derived from customary international law, generally accepted principles of international law, or intergovernmental agreements that are universally or nearly universally recognized.”
These can be found in authoritative international instruments from organizations such as the United Nations, International Labor Organization (ILO).


ISO 26000 urges its users to identify the vulnerable populations among its stakeholders, and to work to ensure their fair treatment
“..In situations where human rights are not protected, take steps to respect human rights and avoid taking advantage of these situations…”