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In April, ISO received a proposal for the creation of a new Technical Committee on social responsibility. If created, the committee would aim to revise the ISO 26000 standard and develop further guidance and/or standards on social responsibility.
SBS considers that the proposal neither provides a proper justification for the creation of a new ISO Technical Committee nor considers SMEs as an important stakeholder in this area. The principles of social responsibility have not changed since the adoption of the standard. The current ISO 26000 already covers the main principles of social responsibility including sustainability aspects. Therefore, there is no need to revise it. Moreover, SBS doubts whether the development of multiple guidelines and standards under the umbrella of ISO 26000 would help to advance social responsibility and fears that this may just add unhelpful burdens on companies, especially SMEs, instead.
Nevertheless, if it is finally decided to go ahead with a revision, ISO 26000 should be kept as a guidance document not aimed at certification. SMEs, which represent the majority of businesses worldwide, should also be recognised as a main stakeholder in any future revision.
The full SBS comments on the proposal are accessible here.