ISO 26000 - Social responsibility

Business and organizations do not operate in a vacuum. Their relationship to the society and environment in which they operate is a critical factor in their ability to continue to operate effectively. It is also increasingly being used as a measure of their overall performance.

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.

Video: ISO and social responsibility


ISO 26000:2010

ISO 26000:2010 provides guidance rather than requirements, so it cannot be certified to unlike some other well-known ISO standards. 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 in 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.

Preview ISO 26000:2010

You can preview the freely available sections of ISO 26000:2010 on our Online Browsing Platform. To purchase the standard please visit the ISO Store.

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ISO 26000 workshop

For more information about ISO 26000 take a look at the presentations and listen to interviews from the 2015 ISO 26000 International Workshop.

Related publications

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.

Schematic overview of ISO 26000

A schematic overview of ISO 26000. Can also be used as A2 poster.

Useful resources

A guide on how to use the GRI G4 Guidelines and ISO 26000 in conjunction

Social responsibility: 7 core subjects

Graphic representation of the 7 core subjects of social responsibility. Can be used as an A2 poster.

Support for implementing ISO 26000

ISO 26000 was developed by a working group of about 500 experts. At the publication of this standard the working group was disbanded. However, the leadership of the working group was retained to provide support and expertise for users. This is now called the Post Publication Organization, or PPO, for ISO 26000.

The ISO 26000 PPO has produced the following document(s) to support the implementation of ISO 26000:

Communication Protocol – Describes appropriate wordings organizations can use to communicate about their use of ISO 26000 - Download pdf

Contact ISO 26000 PPO

Ludvig Hubendick
Secretary of ISO 26000 PPO
Swedish Standards Institute


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Additional Resources

Multimedia press release for ISO 26000 launch

More introductory information can be found in the multimedia press release that was produced for the ISO 26000 launch in November 2010.

Radio Interview: 'New (higher) bar set for social responsibility'

Shortly following the launch of ISO 26000, World Radio Switzerland interviews ISO Deputy Secretary-General Kevin McKinley on ISO 26000.
Listen to the interview

ISO Secretary-General's perspectives on ISO 26000

Shortly before approval of ISO 26000 for publication as an International Standard, ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele was interviewed on the subject.
Read the interview