ISO and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

ISO and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

ISO and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

In recent years, corporates have found it necessary to know what happens within their environments. This drives the need to be involved in projects that help the larger society prosper. Corporate social responsibility is broad and covers any company that seeks to advance sustainability.

ISO 2600 and CSR

ISO 2600 is a standard that was developed in 2010 to help corporates manage their corporate social responsibilities effectively.

The standard encourages organizations to participate in any CSR activities that support sustainable development, and seek to reduce negative impact on the environment, society and financial health.

Countries like the UK, US, Canada, France and Australia plus 80 others have adopted ISO 2600/2010; a standard that underwent its most recent review and confirmation in 2017.

Key characteristics of the ISO 2600/2010 standard

This ISO standard is not like other standards. It has the following differences:

  1. It applies to any organization-The list or organizations that qualify for the ISO 2600/2010 standard does not discriminate on location, size or industry. The retail sector, energy and food industry, or even hospitals can all participate.
  2. It is voluntary-Organizations have the option of using this standard as it stipulates the requirements of their activities. The ISO 2600 only seeks to advise, propose or suggest ways in which an organization can carry out its CSR activities better.
  3. It is a standard built by consensus-Over 500 delegates from both developing and developed countries were involved in its development over a period of 5 years. The delegates represent the following main sectors:
  • Labor
  • Consumer
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Industry
  • Government
  • Service 
  • Support

How Can ISO 2600 help organizations?

The major ways that an organization can benefit from this standard include:

  • Effective communication amongst stakeholders to improve the reliability and credibility of their CSR.
  • Give a better understanding of their responsibilities concerning environmental, legal, and cultural differences.
  • Promote the idea of continuous improvement as does all ISO standards.
  • Helps the company to promote and adhere to the principles of CSR.
  • Effective channels to communicate organization CSR activities to its stakeholders.
  • Increase awareness of its CSR endeavours.

The key principles of ISO 2600/2010

As per every standard, the principles that guide ISO 2600 include:

  • Respect for human rights
  • Respect for the rule of law
  • Respect for best practice international behaviour
  • Accountability
  • Transparency
  • Ethical behaviour
  • Respect for stakeholders and their interest, including those who influence the organization’s actions.

It further breaks down these key principles into seven more manageable subjects. These are:

  • Community development and involvement
  • Organizational governance
  • Consumer issues
  • Fair operating practices
  • Environment
  • Labour practices
  • Human rights


Corporate social responsibility matters. In fact, companies that do not have any CSR activities stand to lose up to 39% of their customers. A percentage of customers, as high as 75%, will somehow vent on social media against such organizations. This means that companies need all the help they can get when implementing their CSR initiatives. If this is part of your objectives, then getting the 2600 standard is an excellent place to start.

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