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ISO/DIS 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility. Observations by October 2009 Start of the DIS commenting and voting period (ending 14 February 2010). Guido Gürtler , ICC Observer to ISO/TMB WG SR, Member of the WG SR Industry Stakeholder Group guido.guertler@t-online.de. Outline (1/2).

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observations by october 2009 start of the dis commenting and voting period ending 14 february 2010

ISO/DIS 26000 Guidance

on Social Responsibility

Observations by October 2009

Start of the DIS commenting and voting period (ending 14 February 2010)

Guido Gürtler, ICC Observer to ISO/TMB WG SR, Member of the WG SR Industry Stakeholder Group guido.guertler@t-online.de

outline 1 2
Outline (1/2)
  • Origination
  • Key project data
  • The Standard and its content
  • Estimation of main users
  • Who is drafting what for whom
  • Working stages and comments
  • Positive and critical points
  • About ISO and societal standards
outline 2 2
Outline (2/2)
  • Meeting the Design Specification?
  • Who will vote on the DIS?
  • CD voting results
  • The voting process
  • Voting options
  • Possible D-Liaisons’ action
  • Sovereignty in taking decisions
  • Perspectives ABC


ISO/DIS 26000 is a major achievement and not a bad document…

…but for its purpose and the expectations raised it is not good enough, yet.

origination 1 2
Origination (1/2)
  • Gestation began early 90’s (primarily from the Nordic part of EU)
  • 4/01 ISO COPOLCO asked by ISO Council to consider viability of a CSR Standard
  • 6/02 ISO/COPLOCO Workshop in Trinidad meeting – obvious strong agreement that ISO should proceed
  • 9/02 ISO Council accepts report and establishes SAG
  • ISO SR Advisory Group (SAG) late 2002 worked for 18 months on comprehensive report to ISO TMB including an overview of worldwide initiatives. Concluded ISO should go forward with the work

There was an overwhelming demand from developing countries

origination 2 2 it s a consumer initiative
Origination (2/2) It‘s a Consumer Initiative
  • COPOLCO is the ISO Consumer Policy Committee
  • The COPOLCO Workshop in Trinidad, June 2002, had some 90 attendees, with only 2 from industry, none from the banking sector
  • ISO Council decided about the COPOLCO proposal as requested by ISO procedures
key project data
Key Project Data
  • Working since early 2005
  • 400+ members (experts and observers)
  • Many of them first time working in an ISO project
  • Majority from developing countries
about the standard
About the Standard
  • ISO 26000 “Guidance on Social Responsibility”
  • Target: To be applied by all types of organizations
  • Type of standard:
    • International standard providing guidance;
    • NOT for third-party certification;
    • NOT a Management System Standard
iso 26000 contents 1 3
ISO 26000 – Contents (1/3)

0 Introduction

1 Scope

2 Terms and definitions

3 Understanding SR of organizations

4 Principles of SR

5 Recognizing SR and engaging stakeholders

6 Guidance on SR subjects

7 Guidance on integrating SR throughout an organization

Annex A: Voluntary initiatives and tools for SR

Annex B: Abbreviations


iso 26000 2 3
ISO 26000 (2/3)

4 Principles of social responsibility

Identifies a set of SR principles:

  • Principle of accountability
  • Principle of transparency
  • Principle of ethical behavior
  • Principle of respect for stakeholder interests
  • Principle of respect for the rule of law
  • Principle of human rights
  • Principle of respect for international norms of behavior
iso 26000 3 3
ISO 26000 (3/3)

6 Guidance on SR core subjects

Provides separate guidance on a range of core subjects/issues and relates them to organizations.

  • Organizational Governance
  • Labor Practices
  • Human Rights
  • The Environment
  • Fair Operating Practices
  • Consumer Issues
  • Community Involvement & Development
iso 26000 volume
ISO 26000 Volume

It has become an educational document of



…..Warnings on too big a size exist since Working Draft 2, late 2006…..

who is industry
Who is „Industry“?

Industry Stakeholder Definition (N48 rev1)

The industry stakeholder group includes representatives of: Enterprises that manufacture products or provide services and pursue primarily commercial interests. This group includes supportive enterprises like energy and water supply, banking, communication, insurance or transport companies.

Such enterprises exist of any size and legal form and may operate at local, regional or international level.

Industry also includes employer organizations, businessassociations, special industry organizations and trade associations representing various industries at the national, regional and international levels.

estimation of main users
Estimation of Main Users

Industry and service organizations stand for 96% of all users.



who is drafting what for whom
Who is drafting what for whom?

60 % are not Industry & Services

4 % are not Industry & Services

60% of WG SR experts represent 4% of users, but have a say on what 96% should follow

working stages and comments 1 3
Working Stages and Comments (1/3)


Here we are!


Working Drafts









working stages and comments 2 3
Working Stages and Comments (2/3)
  • Working Drafts 1, 2 and 3 caused some 2.500 to 3.000 comments each
  • WD 4.1 received 5.000+ comments
  • WD 4.2 got 5.000+ comments
  • Committee Draft got 3.400+ comments
working stages and comments 3 3
Working Stages and Comments (3/3)

In view of the large number of comments, they

  • Were grouped into „key topics“
  • In meetings, solutions were sought for new language on these key topics

Thisprocess used was a way forward to manage the large quantity of comments, and designed to show progress, but it also lost a lot of substance offered in the details.

Consequently many comments had to be repeated, many of them several times.

positive points
Positive Points
  • ISO 26000 will boost the global discussion on Social Responsibility
  • ISO 26000 will make many organizations rethink their behavior
  • WG SR has done an admirable work; found consensus of 400+ members
critical points
Critical Points
  • ISO 26000 will boost a consultant business because it is not easy to understand and does not offer tools
  • ISO 26000 is not for certification but certifiers will create “their SR Standards” and possibly decorate them with attributes like “…in line with ISO 26000”
  • ISO/DIS 26000 is not applicable to the vast majority of SMOs; small and medium organizations

About ISO and societal standards (1/10)Foundation and work areas

  • The International Standards Organization
  • Located in Geneva
  • Founded 1946 for standardization in technical areas; to foster trade and increase welfare
  • In the 1980’s expansion into so-called “Management System Standards”, like ISO 9000 or 14001
  • ? Since 2004 on the way to expand into societal areas?

About ISO and societal standards (2/10)ISO member bodies

  • 162 Members in total
  • 106 full members, having voting rights, called “member bodies”
  • 056 members, correspondent or subscriber members) not having voting rights (35%)

About ISO and societal standards (3/10)Definition of “stakeholder”

2.1.20 stakeholder

individual or group that has an interest in any decisions or activities of an organization

The proposal is to use the ICC definition that reads  “Individual or group significantlyaffected by an organization’s activities.”


About ISO and societal standards (4/10)Definition of “organization”

2.1.12 organization

entity with identifiable objectives and structure

NOTE 1 For the purpose of this International Standard organization does not include government executing duties that are exclusive to the state.

NOTE 2 Clarity on the meaning of small and medium-sized organizations (SMOs) is provided in Clause 3.3.

  • This includes all from multinationals to shoemakers and social non-for-profit organizations;
  • Missing key words like governing bodies, functions, positions, authority for and delegation of…
  • Each legal entity is an organization

About ISO and societal standards (5/10)Pricing policy on ISO 26000

Council Resolution 32/2009 (Free availability of ISO 26000) Council, noting that the TMB Working Group on Social Responsibility (WG SR) has requested that ISO/DIS 26000 and ISO 26000 be made freely available, further noting that, in consultation with the Commercial Policies Steering Group (CPSG), the Secretary-General has agreed to make ISO/DIS 26000 freely available on the ISO Web site for the WG SR, having considered the rationale lying behind this WG SR's request, decides that ISO 26000 should not be made freely available and that therefore the current pricing policy should be applied with no deviation.


About ISO and societal standards (6/10)Pricing policy, consequences

SMOs including micro organizations have to buy the document

Reduction of the ISO 26000 proliferation

Increase of revenues at ISO member bodies*

Increase of revenues at ISO itself

* Several set the price of standards dependent on the number of pages


About ISO and societal standards (7/10)Feature “national delegations”

Composed of a few national delegates from participating ISO Members

ISO Technical Ctee

ISO Member

ISO Member

ISO Member

ISO Member


ISO Member

National Mirror Ctees



National parties concerned; stakeholders


About ISO and societal standards (8/10)Feature “one-country-one-vote”

One vote, regardless of size of population, culture, convictions and habits, religion, etc.

China can be formally outweighed by Mauritius, the US by Saint Lucia…


About ISO and societal standards (9/10)Feature “comments grouping”

The subject‘s complexity and differences in understandings lead to 20.000+ comments on „Working Drafts“ from WG SR experts

The CD Committee Draft received 3.400+ comments from ISO Member Bodies

Their was no other chance than “grouping” them into “key issues” and try to find solutions; but this lead also to repeatedly presented comments


About ISO and societal standards (10/10)Feature “involvement of D-Liaisons ”

As an innovative process: direct participation in „technical work“

Participating “industry” relevant organizations:BIAC, ICC, ICMM, IFAN, ILO, IOE, IPIECA, NORMAPME, OECD, OGP, WBCSD, WSBI

These organizations count for much more industry representation than all “national delegates”, but their voices count only numerically….

e.g. IOE can be outweighed by e.g. ‘Red Puentes’


who will vote on the dis 1 2
Who will vote on the DIS? (1/2)

For CD and DIS the same ISO rules apply:

ISO member bodies can vote; i.e. full members only (currently 106 out of 162)

D-Liaison organizationscan raise their “voices”; they don’t have voting rights


Who will vote on the DIS? (2/2)

The whole file is available at http://www.26k-estimation.com/html/dis__vote__analysis.html#dis-voteanalysis-start

cd vote results 1 3
CD vote results (1/3)

These 10 countries did not vote:







Saint Lucia

Trinidad and Tobago

Ukraine, and


Their voices do not count.

These 4 countries abstained:




Saudi Arabia

cd vote results 2 3
CD vote results (2/3)

These 19 countries placed a negative vote:

Note the substantial geopolitical and economic clout of those highlighted in Red













The Netherlands





United States

Viet Nam


CD vote results (3/3)

46 is exactly 2/3 of 69; the formal require-ments of the ISO Directives were met

d liaison organizations voices 1 3
D-Liaison Organizations “Voices” (1/3)

Industry and service organizations stand for 96% of all users.

98% of them are micro, small and medium organizations.

Business oriented D-Liaison organizations raised major concerns on the CD, some emphasizing that those have been presented repeatedly

d liaison organizations voices 2 3
D-Liaison Organizations “Voices” (2/3)

As regards the ISO 26000 applicability to the main user group (SMO), business oriented D-Liaison organizations basically criticize the

Volume of 100+ pages

Language and tone (not easy to understand)

Relevancy of all core subjects

d liaison organizations voices 3 3
D-Liaison Organizations “Voices” (3/3)
  • Such major concerns have been expressed on the CD by:
  • BIAC - Business and Advisory Committee to the OECD
  • ICC - International Chamber of Commerce
  • IFAN - International Federation of Users of Standards
  • IOE - International Organization of Employers
  • IPIECA - International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association, and
  • NORMAPME - European Office of Crafts, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprises for Standardization

These “voices” weigh in with by far more “business reality” than that provided through the ISO national member bodies*

* A number of national mirror committees don’t include industry representatives

the dis voting count 1 3
The DIS Voting Count (1/3)

ISO, Geneva

162 ISO members, out of them

106 ISO member „bodies“ have voting rights


The DIS Voting Count (2/3)

Both P-Members’ and ISO member bodies’ votes must be positive; if one of them is negative, the vote failed


The DIS Voting Count (3/3)

Both P-Members’ and ISO member bodies’ votes must be positive; if one of them is negative, the vote failed

voting options
Voting Options

In favor: supports the document as it is; comments may be made

Abstain: feels too small, didn’t find consensus etc.; abstentions don’t count

Against: does not support the document as it is; comments must be made

Votes must be sent by the ISO member body to ISO Geneva, before 14 February 2010

possible d liaison actions 1 2 steps
Possible D-Liaison actions (1/2)Steps

Find a position on ISO/DIS 26000

ISO member body



Member 1

Member 2

Make that position publicly known

Make that position known to national ISO member bodies

Since D-Liaison organizations don’t vote, ISO encourages them to approachnational ISO member bodies with their position


Possible D-Liaison actions (2/2)Time Line



106 ISO member bodies send their vote

106 national mirror committees find their position

Reasonably an effective influence can only be exerted in the early weeks and months.

sovereignty in taking decisions
Sovereignty in taking decisions

ISO Member Body have voting rights and is sovereign in its decision finding.

D-Liaison organizationscan raise their “voice”

Note: According to N105 Operating Procedures D-Liaison organizations have the right of appeal to the WG Plenary; an option normally not used because finding consensus is considered more important

perspectives abc 1 3
Perspectives ABC (1/3)

“Major” changes; DIS2



“Minor” changes


DIS vote





DIS2 vote


Final work



FDIS vote

Technical Report

International Standard



Perspectives ABC (2/3)

Route A: is the fastest one; may be preferred by all who want to end the project quickly, regardless of its smaller or greater success

Route B: is a preferred option, including the continua-tion of the project in a new to be founded global organization for “Standards and Benchmarks for Society”

Route C: continues with a second DIS and major changes of the document (changes as requested in all “general” and “technical” comments”)


Perspectives ABC (3/3)

Who will take the decision on how to proceed?

ISO TMB, the ISO Technical Management Board that controls and coordinates all technical work of the many ISO committees. According to http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_technical_committee.html?commid=54996 the 12 members of 2009 are ABNT Brazil (2011), AENOR Spain (2010) ; AFNOR France (2011) , ANSI USA (2009) , BIS India (2011), BSI United Kingdom (2009) , DIN Germany (2009) , JISC Japan (2010) , KATS Korea, Republic of (2011), SABS South Africa (2011), SAC China (2011), SCC Canada (2010).

The „2009 members“ will change by January 2010.


CD Committee Draft

DIS Draft International Standard

COPOLCO Consumer Policy Committee


IS International Standard

NWIP New Work Item Proposal

SMO Small and Medium organization

WD Working Draft

WG SR Working group social responsibility


Links (1/2):

  • - ISO/DIS 26000 as document N0172 at http://isotc.iso.org/livelink/livelink?func=ll&objId=547513&objAction=RunReport&InputLabel1=26000
  • Details on voting rights at http://www.26k-estimation.com/html/dis_rules.html#WhoHasVotingRights
  • Personal comments at http://www.26k-estimation.com/html/dis_comments.html#dis-comments

Links (2/2):

  • ISO Members, at http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_members.htm
  • ISO member bodies having voting rights, athttp://www.26k-estimation.com/html/dis__vote__analysis.html#dis-voteanalysis-start