CSR Goes Global


As CSR gains ground in corporate activities, global standards have begun emerging as excellent tools for assessing the impact of CSR activities.

Prof. Colin Hubo, Vice Chairman, Center for Social Responsibility, University of Asia and the Pacific, defined Sustainability Reporting as a corporation’s report on its economic, environmental and social dimensions dubbed as the triple bottom line. As Sustainability Reporting is becoming one of the primary concerns of global corporations, adapting to its standards is becoming a priority for local corporations. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework is a tool to measure the triple bottom line effects of a corporation’s activities. Prof. Hubo clarified that the GRI Framework, as a tool, was created to measure the sustainability of a corporation; not to give suggestions on how a corporation can be more sustainable.

Maria Nenette Barrios, Philippine Country Representative to the ISO Working Group on ISO 26000, gave a crash course on ISO 26000 at the CSR Expo 2010. “(ISO 260000 standards) are meant to guide in practices… give recommendations,” she told the Expo participants. She added that the guidance standard “expresses the expectation of the society with regard to the actions and decision of organizations” and is not a management system standard. However, she was quick to emphasize that ISO 260000 will be a guidance standard and not a certification standard.  She added that it will be a voluntary standard as it will add value to organizational operations due to the assurance of compliance with international expectations.

Barrios said that ISO26000 was developed in response to requirements of markets worldwide looking for new standards, as well as to social expectations for organizations to be socially responsible. ISO 26000 is designed for all organizations, not just corporations, to guide their decisions and actions towards progress and sustainable development. Some 90 countries participated in drafting the ISO 260000, an effort initiated in 2001.

Among the objectives of ISO 260000 are providing practical guidance related to operationalizing social responsibility, emphasizing performance results and improvement, increasing confidence and satisfaction in organizations among their customers and other stakeholders, and promoting common terminology in the social responsibility field. ISO 260000 stresses principles of social responsibility, particularly accountability, transparency, ethical behavior, respect for stakeholder interest, and respect for laws.

A seven-page summary of the 100-page draft of ISO 26000 which may be viewed from the official website of CSR Expo 2010. 

The LCF CSR Expo aims to provide corporate citizens with skills, knowledge, and relevant experience to increase their awareness and empowerment as they work to achieve enhanced goodwill in doing sustainable and relevant business with society. LCF is a network of over 70 operating and grant-making corporate foundations and corporations seeking to provide business solutions to social and environmental problems in the Philippines.