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Added value of ISO 26000

ISO 26000 brings added value to the further development and application of SR:

1. The same language, terminology, concepts and definitions worldwide

  • Transparency at last: What is SR?
  • Uniform internal communication and external communication to stakeholders.
  • Precludes unnecessary discussions and saves a great deal of time.

2. Agreement on SR principles

  • Provides an ethical direction (standards and values) of SR.
  • Offers coordination for good organizational governance.
  • Additions based on own principles and cultural values are possible.

3. Agreement on SR issues

  • Overview of all issues that contribute to sustainable development.
  • Provides insight into possible actions.
  • Helps determine relevance to an individual's own organization.

4. Connection with familiar systems including

  • Quality management: ISO 9001, ISO 9004, EFQM.
  • Environmental management and occupational health and safety: ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, SA 8000.
  • GRI 3.1 and G4 for SR reporting and indicators.

5. Framework for adaptation of international treaties, conventions and initiatives for SR based on one's own organization

  • UN Bill of Human Rights.
  • UN ILO conventions (for example, fundamental rights of employees)
  • Millennium Development Goals à Sustainable Development
  • UN Global Compact Ten Principles
  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (framework John Ruggie)
  • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

6. Support when determining SR priorities

  • Ordering SR issues by determining relevance and significance.
  • Provides criteria for determining SR priorities.
  • Guarantees the correct SR focus.

7. Practical guidelines for SR implementation

  • Integrating SR in policy, vision and strategy.
  • Integrating SR in daily practice.
  • Addressing the sphere of influence and chain responsibility.
  • Identifying and managing stakeholders.
  • Communicating about SR.
  • Selecting sustainability initiatives.

ISO 26000 also specifies the general advantages of SR such as strengthening an organization's reputation and supporting an organization's licence to operate. The practical examples in this manual will also show the advantages that ISO 26000 offers organizations.


De Meerlanden, Anegline Kierkels

De Meerlanden, Anegline Kierkels

Angeline Kierkels, General Director from De Meerlanden (Waste Management):

"The structure of ISO 26000 is useful as it helps us to implement SR in our operational management".

PWN ex CEO Martien den Blanken

PWN ex CEO Martien den Blanken

ex CEO Martien den Blanken from PWN (Pure Water and Nature): "ISO 26000 has helped PWN:

  • Focus on SR core tasks
  • Set priorities
  • Make SR transparent