Background on TMB-Social Responsibility

In September 2004 a working group was established within ISO to develop an international standard providing guidelines for social responsibility (ISO/TMB/WG-SR). The objective is to produce a guidance document, written in plain language that is understandable and usable by non-specialists, and not a specification document or management systems standard (MSS) intended for third-party certification. The work is intended to add value to, and not replace, existing inter-governmental agreements with relevance to social responsibility, such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and those adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The standard should be usable for organizations of all sizes, in countries at every stage of development. ​

The standard is being developed through balanced representation in the working group, of six designated stakeholder categories: industry, government, labor, consumers, nongovernmental organizations and others, in addition to geographical and gender-based balance. The designation of the standard is ISO 26000 and the target date for publication is October 2008.
AIHA is represented in the United States Technical Advisory Group (TAG)  by Jeffrey Hogue of the Stewardship and Sustainability Committee.  The American Society for Quality was awarded the administration of the US/TAG on Social Responsibility by the American National Standards Institute.    


Jeffrey Hogue MS, REA, CIH
AIHA Liaison D Expert to ISO WG/SR
AIHA USTAG/SR Representative
+1 (650) 846-7618 wk
+1 (650) 621-7918 fax
+1 (650) 444-8146 Mobile in The Americas and EMEA
+ 86 13921181256 Mobile in ASPAC

ISO Releases Standard on Social Responsibility

November 1 marked the launch of ISO 26000:2010, the long-awaited guidance standard on social responsibility (SR). AIHA actively participated in the development of the standard, which provides guidance to business and the public sector on the concepts and implementation of social responsibility.
As a voluntary standard, ISO 26000—unlike other management system international standards such as ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004—is not a typical management system standard and is not intended for certification. ISO 26000 defines social responsibility by bringing together the multitude of approaches and principles already defined in separate international norms, standards and instruments. It also solves the challenge of putting SR principles into practice when material SR issues exist in differing organizational contexts. But the standard’s main achievement is its global relevance: organizations around the world can look to the standard for guidance on what they must do to operate in a socially responsible way.
For more information on the release of this standard look for the complete article in the December 2010 edition of the Synergist.

ISO 26000 WG/SR Update 2/10/2009

A committee draft of the long awaited ISO 26000 standard, Guidance on Social Responsibility was published on December 12, 2008.  The resolution to proceed to committee draft or ISO/CD 26000 was voted unanimously at the 6th plenary meeting of the Working Group on Social Responsibility​, which took place on 1-5 September 2008 in Santiago, Chile. The meeting was one of the largest ISO standards development meetings ever held, with 386 experts attending from 76 ISO member countries and 33 liaison organizations. AIHA was represented by Liaison D Expert, Jeffrey Hogue in Santiago who focused in several areas of AIHA interest including labor, health and safety, environment, stakeholder engagement and communication, and the integration of social responsibility within an organization.
Representatives of six stakeholder groups participate in the WG SR: industry; government; labor; consumers; nongovernmental organizations; and service, support, research and others. Two experts from each stakeholder category – one from a developed country and one from a developing country – take part in the Integrated Drafting Task Force (IDTF) which is responsible for reviewing and revising the ISO 26000 drafts. Prior to the Santiago meeting, the WG SR had received some 5 200 comments on the second edition of the fourth working draft of the standard. On the basis of these comments, the IDTF identified the following key topics to be addressed at the plenary:
  • International norms of behavior
  • Nature of reference to social responsibility initiatives
  • Nature of reference to government
  • Sphere of influence (including issues relating to value chain and supply chain)
  • Picking and choosing (including issues pertaining to relevance and significance and prioritization).
Sufficient progress and consensus on these issues was achieved at the meeting to enable the previous working drafts of ISO 26000 to a committee draft, which is now in a three month review that ended on March 15, 2009.  AIHA developed a small working group to provide input to official AIHA comments prior to the deadline.  A Publication of ISO 26000 as an International Standard is available directly from ISO.

ISO WG/SR (ISO 26000) Update 4/29/2008

The breadth of international support for the development of the future ISO 26000 standard giving guidance on social responsibility was demonstrated a the fifth plenary meeting of the ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility (WG SR), held in Vienna, Austria, November 2007.
The meeting, which was hosted by the Austrian Standards Institute, was held with the support of the Austrian government and Austrian Development Agency, together with the United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. It attracted the record participation of some 400 experts representing the six participating stakeholder groups: industry; government; labor; consumers; nongovernmental organizations; and service, support, research and others. The number of developing country members has almost doubled since the beginning of the process and exceeds the number of developed country members.
AIHA was added as a Liaison D organization to the ISO WG/SR for the Vienna meeting. Jeffrey Hogue participated as the AIHA expert and was actively involved in the proceedings and critical elements of the standard that effect AIHA membership. He was also involved in commenting on Working Draft  4.1 (WD 4.1) to address questions raised by the Integrated Drafting Task Force.
ISO 26000 is intended for use by organizations of all types, in both public and private sectors, in developed as well as developing countries. ISO 26000 contains guidance, not requirements. It is not a management system standard and will not be for use as a certification standard.
Almost 7,225 comments were received from the WG SR's experts on the third working draft of ISO 26000 (before Vienna). Enough key topics were resolved at the meeting to enable the work to be launched to produce a fourth working draft. This draft is being developed by a new Integrated
Drafting Task Force, established at the Vienna meeting, with balanced stakeholder representation.
The WG membership has now reached 71 participating countries, with another eight as observers, plus 37 liaison organizations.