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Social responsibility experts gather for international conference

by Clare Naden on
Woman weaving in Peru
International Standards are playing an ever increasing role in social responsibility as organizations shift their focus from one of managing risks to having a competitive advantage, according to experts at a recent international conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

Focused around ISO 26000, one of the world’s most widely used social responsibility standards, the event, hosted in Sweden by the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS), drew more than 80 social responsibility experts from around the world to exchange ideas and discuss the outlook and challenges of the future.

Key topics covered the evolution of the Chinese corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, how Mexican municipalities leverage ISO 26000 in local government issues, and how large multinational companies such as NEC and Marks & Spencer use ISO 26000 as an effective tool in their business operations.

The event was held in conjunction with the stakeholder advisory group meeting of the ISO 26000 Post Publication Organization (PPO). ISO 26000 PPO Vice Chair Staffan Soderberg claims the uptake of ISO 26000 is only expected to grow:

“The standard's use continues to increase and will result in more companies and organizations speaking the same language when talking about sustainability and social responsibility,” he said.

Other issues under discussion included whether or not ISO 26000 should be made certifiable, how SMEs can benefit more from the standard, and the need to link it to the OECD Guidelines, the Global Reporting Initiative, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals.

See all the presentations and videos from the conference.

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