ISO 26000 - Social Responsibility

ISO 26000 International Workshop

5-9 November 2012 - Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland

  • Participants sitting around tables at ISO 26000 developing country workshop

    The Developing Country workshop (5 - 6 November) welcomed 120 participants from about 70 countries to exchange experiences on ISO 26000.

  • Beer Budoo speaking at the ISO 26000 workshop

    Central Secretariat's Beer Budoo described the developing country workshop as helping to equip national standards bodies with ideas, information and tools to ensure uptake of ISO 26000.

  • Rob Steele speaking at ISO 26000 International Workshop

    The Open Forum (7 - 8 November) was opened by ISO Secretary General Rob Steele, who welcomed over 350 participants to the event.

  • Speakers presenting on stage at ISO 26000 International Workshop

    During the two day event, over 30 speakers shared experiences and best practice about ISO 26000, as well as highlighting areas for improvement.

  • Jorge Cajazeira presents at ISO 26000 workshop

    Jorge Cajazeira from Suzano Pulp and Paper in Brazil explained how ISO 26000 had taught the company the value of listening and engaging with all stakeholders.

  • Participants sitting at tables during ISO 26000 workshop

    Throughout the two day event, delegates were invited to work together to discuss key questions and share ideas.

  • Cecilia Lööf presenting at ISO 26000 workshop

    Cecilia Lööf from HSB (Sweden National Association for Housing Cooperatives) said: 'ISO 26000 is not just about being nice, it makes good business sense'.

  • Woman presenting findings of group discussions to attendees

    After each of the group discussion sessions, participants shared their ideas with the rest of the group.

  • Anthony Miller presenting at ISO 26000 workshop

    Dr Anthony Miller from UNCTAD reminded delegates how important CSR issues were becoming in business, including for mergers and acquisitions.

  • Bright coloured 'post its' with suggestions from the group

    At the end of the event, all comments from the group sessions were collected.

The Workshop, organised by ISO Central Secretariat, provided the opportunity to exchange experiences and take up of ISO 26000 around the world. It was divided into 3 parts:

For photos please see our Flickr page.


For questions about this event please contact Linda Zaech (zaech@iso.org)

A collection of audio soundbites from the ISO 26000 International Workshop held in Geneva, 5 – 9 November 2012.

Importance of stakeholder dialogue

ISO 26000 has highlighted the importance of stakeholder dialogue for Suzano

Portrait of Jorge Cajazeira

Interview with Jorge Cajazeira, Suzano Pulp and Paper

Suzano is a Brazilian company whose commitment to social responsibility started long before the publication of ISO 26000. In this soundbite Jorge explains what new lessons the company learnt from ISO 26000.

Listen to Jorge Cajazeira (34 sec)

Transcript: My name is Jorge Cajazeira from Brazil, I am chair of the PPO [Post Publication Organization] and also director of Suzano in the area of government relationships. And I think that the difference that the ISO 26000 has done for Suzano is much based on the issue of stakeholder dialogue. Suzano is a company that has traditions of social responsibility, this is true, but now I think we are learning that listening to each other is much better to improve our actions. I think that is the major lesson we have learned through ISO 26000.

Future looks bright for ISO 26000

Interest in the standard is increasing...it looks bright for the future.

Portrait of Kristina Sandberg

Interview with Kristina Sandberg, Swedish Standards Institute

During the workshop, Kristina presented the results of a survey exploring the use of ISO 26000. Here she explains that the standard is applied widely around the world, and that its use is growing especially developing countries.

Listen to Kristina Sandberg (38 sec)

Transcript: I'm Kristina Sandberg from the Swedish Standards Institute and Secretary of the Post Publication Organization. I think one of the most interesting results of the survey, that I was impressed with is that it is such a global spread. And it is growing especially in Africa and the developing countries. And also that the interest in the standard is increasing, that is very encouraging and it looks bright for the future.

Don't be frightened - ISO 26000 is a practical tool

My experience is that ISO 26000 is a practical tool

Potrait of Dante Pesce

Interview with Dante Pesce, CEO Vincular Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the Catholic University of Valparaiso, Chile. Dante was involved in the development of ISO 26000.

Listen to Dante Pesce (1 minute and 37 seconds)

In this interview Dante explains how ISO 26000 is a useful and practical tool, especially to help bring an organization's work in line with other initiatives. But, he says it needs to be clearer for first time users that it is a guidance document and not a conformity standard.

Transcript: Dante Pesce, Executive director of Vincular the Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development. So on the use of the standard, for the most part of the people that are used to listen or hear about ISO, they assume it is a conformity kind of traditional standard and not a guidance standard. Which means that when you read it, most of the people that read it for the first time think they have to comply with everything, and that frightens a lot. After you break out the barrier, that you can really use it, my experience is that it is extremely practical. Its comprehensive, it gives you let's say a toolkit of actions you can implement after you conduct an assessment or a gap analysis. Its Comprehensive with relationship to other normative, standards and international agreements etc., its extremely complementary and useful for other institution that report on GRI, or use the guiding principles on human rights or are signatories of global compact. Once you start using it you realise it is not only complementary but helps you actually implement actions that help you address the issues that pop up out of analysing and checking yourself against those other norms and international agreements.

ISO 26000: A definition

Organizations can learn what it means to be truly socially responsible

Potrait of Perla Puterman

Interview with Perla Puterman, who represented the industry sector of developing countries during the development of ISO 26000.

Listen to Perla Puterman (20 sec)

Transcript: My name is Perla Puterman, I was part of the process of the development of the ISO 26000 from the beginning. The biggest benefit in my view of ISO 26000 is that organizations can learn what it means to be truly socially responsible.

Responsibility to the environment and society

ISO 26000 will help keep the company's responsibility to society and the environment

Potrait of Amine Oulahyane

Interview with Amine Oulahyane, Atlas Copco Maroc, a subsidiary of Atlas Copco.

Amine Oulahyane represents one of the pilot organizations for the SR MENA project. The SR MENA project is implemented by ISO Central Secretariat, along with ISO members in selected Middle East and North African (MENA) countries. The aim of the project is to promote the uptake of ISO 26000 in the region.

Listen to Amine Oulahyane (36 seconds)

Transcript: My name is Amine Oulahyane speaking on behalf of Atlas Copco Maroc, one of the pilot companies of the ISO 26000 MENA region pilot. Our vision is to become and remain first in mind, first in choice for our customers, our employees, shareholders, business partners but also for the society and the environment. We believe that ISO 26000 will help us to stand by our responsibility towards our customers, towards environment and towards people around us and to make our performance stand the test of time.

Link between development and social responsibility needs to be underlined

In our developing countries we do not make the link between development and social responsibility.

Portrait of Ali Harbi

Interview with Ali Harbi, one of the national experts from Algeria for the SR MENA project. The SR MENA project is implemented by ISO Central Secretariat along with ISO members in selected Middle East and North African (MENA) countries. The aim of the project is to promote the uptake of ISO 26000 in the region.

Listen to Ali Harbi (1 minute and 45 seconds)

Transcript: Hello I am Ali Harbi from Algeria. The uptake of the ISO 26000 project, was a real opportunity in Algeria in the way that it represented a global guideline to approach social responsibility in our country, and sustainable development as well. What organizations didn't have before ISO 26000 was a kind of overview and methodological tools on SR, and now we have it with ISO 26000 which is very important. The SR MENA project is aiming to enhance the uptake of ISO 26000 in the region and our country in particular. We are now supporting 7 organizations in the project and we have good progress with these 7organizations. But we still have some challenges to face. The first challenge is about developing more practical tools to support the implementation of this standard within the organizations. The second is to raise awareness on SR. In our developing countries we do not make the link between development and social responsibility. And especially on economic, environmental and social issues. The third challenge we are facing is about involving more stakeholders in the process of up taking social responsibility and ISO 26000 as a tool and methodology. We are working on these challenges to be in a better situation in a few years coming.

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Photos from the ISO 26000 International Workshop

Background information on ISO 26000

Discovering ISO 26000

A resume of the contents of ISO 26000, a basic understanding of the standard and what it can help organizations to achieve.

Video: ISO and social responsibility

More introductory information on ISO 26000 can be found in the ISO 26000 multimedia press release and on our ISO 26000 page.