Organizations should be socially responsible

This is adapted from International Standard ISO 26000. The first edition was on November 1, 2010. International standards, and their use in technical regulations on products, production methods and services play an important role in sustainable development and trade facilitation through the promotion of safety, quality and technical compatibility.

The benefits that are derived are significant. Standardization contributes to the basic infrastructure that underpins society including health and the environment while promoting sustainability and good regulatory practice.

What is socially responsible behaviour?

This is the way an organisation or individual voluntarily performs in relation to the society in which it operates and to its impact on the environment. This has become a critical part of measuring its overall performance and its ability to continue operating effectively.

This is in part a reflection of the growing recognition of the need to ensure healthy ecosystems, social equity and good organizational governance. At some point in time all organisations’ activities depend on the health of the world’s ecosystems. Therefore all organisations will be subjected to greater scrutiny by their various stakeholders.

Organisations around the world and their stakeholders are becoming aware of the need for and the benefits of socially responsible behaviour.

The International Organisation for Standardization is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO members’ bodies).  The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO technical committees.  Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee.

International organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO also take part in the work.  ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization.

International Standards are drafted in accordance with the rules given in the International Standards Organisation and the International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) Directives.

The main task of the committees is to prepare Draft International Standards. Those adopted by the technical committees are circulated to the member bodies for voting.  Publication as an International Standard requires approval by at least 75% of the member bodies casting a vote.

The ISO 26000 was prepared by ISO/TMB working group on Social Responsibility. This standard was developed using a multi-stakeholder approach. These comprised members from consumers; government; industry; labour; nongovernmental organisations and services, support, research academics and others.

Organizations around the world are becoming more aware of the need for socially responsible behaviour. The objective of social responsibility is to contribute to sustainable development. Organisations in relation to the society in which they operate and their impact on the environment have become a critical part of measuring their overall performance and ability to continue to contribute.

Are the consumers in Guyana aware of the social responsibilities due to them?