For Ethical Corporation, Helina Ward discusses the role of governments in the ongoing ISO 26000 process. Important point:
ISO’s brand recognition and credibility give it potential to make a positive contribution to social responsibility. ISO standards are voluntary, but they frequently become benchmarks for good practice among businesses. They are often referenced in supply chain requirements. And many are absorbed into national regulations and standards.
Done well, ISO 26000 could drive competition among organisations for better social responsibility performance. Done badly, it could inadvertently further the global squeeze on small producers unable to meet the aspirations of its guidance.
As for the small producers mentioned above, check out the IISD’s 2008 study on the materiality of ISO 26000 to SMEs.