ISO 26000 provides guidance on how businesses and organizations can operate in a socially responsible way. This means acting in an ethical and transparent way that contributes to the health and welfare of society.

Business and organizations do not operate in a vacuum. Their relationship to the society and environment in which they operate is a critical factor in their ability to continue to operate effectively. It is also increasingly being used as a measure of their overall performance.

For businesses and organizations committed to operating in a socially responsible way, there’s ISO 26000.

It provides guidance to those who recognize that respect for society and environment is a critical success factor. As well as being the “right thing” to do, application of ISO 26000 is increasingly viewed as a way of assessing an organization’s commitment to sustainability and its overall performance.

This brochure gives a resume of the contents of ISO 26000 a basic understanding of the standard and what it can help organizations to achieve.

ISO and social responsibility.

When it comes to social responsibility, confidence has a nickname that’s recognized worldwide. Now you know it too: it’s ISO.

Highlights from our store

ISO 26000:2010

ISO 26000:2010 provides guidance rather than requirements, so it cannot be certified to unlike some other well-known ISO standards. Instead, it helps clarify what social responsibility is, helps businesses and organizations translate principles into effective actions and shares best practices relating to social responsibility, globally. It is aimed at all types of organizations regardless of their activity, size or location.

The standard was launched in 2010 following five years of negotiations between many different stakeholders across the world. Representatives from government, NGOs, industry, consumer groups and labour organizations around the world were involved in its development, which means it represents an international consensus.

Support for implementing ISO 26000

ISO 26000 was developed by a working group of about 500 experts. At the publication of this standard, the working group was disbanded.

Document(s) to support the implementation of ISO 26000:

  • Communication Protocol – Describes appropriate wordings organizations can use to communicate about their use of ISO 26000 
  • ISO 26000 basic training materials in the form of a PowerPoint and training protocol guidance [PDF]
  • Documents that link ISO 26000 with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the United Nations 2030 Agenda (Sustainable Development Goals)
A practical overview of how ISO 26000 can help organizations wishing to implement the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (2011).
Learn how ISO 26000 contributes to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Supporting with IWA 26
IWA 26 is aimed at any business or organization using ISO 26000:2010 or using any one of the many ISO management system standards. Find out more with this helpful document prepared by the ISO member for Sweden, SIS.
An A2 poster showing the seven core subjects of ISO 26000
An A2 poster showing a schematic overview of ISO 26000

Case studies from the ISO project to increase use and uptake of ISO 26000 in the SR MENA region.


A guide on how to use the GRI G4 Guidelines and ISO 26000 in conjunction