What Does ISO 26000 Mean to Small Businesses?

Blog by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Company
Dec 2, 2010 10:47 AM ET

Taiga Company blog by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Compa…

The recently released ISO 26000  international standard on social responsibility (SR), provides guidance on implementing social responsibility for both private and public companies.  Targeting the areas that will deliver the greatest business sustainability value, critics question the organizational breath of coverage, specifically its application to small businesses. 

Comprised of seven key aspects of social responsibility, the guidance explores organizational governance, community involvement and development, environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues, labor practices and human rights.  ISO 26000 adds value to existing work on social responsibility (SR) and extends the understanding and implementation of SR by:   •    Developing an international consensus on what SR means and the SR issues that organizations need to address.   •    Providing guidance on translating principles into effective actions.   •    Refining best practices that have already evolved and disseminating the information worldwide for the good of the international community.   In application with small business application, questions have risen on the standard’s application to entrepreneurs and private businesses, which make up more than half of the global workforce. Critics cite two major areas of concern:   •    Complexity: Many of the suggested actions include technologically advanced, logistically complex, and costly activities.   •    Relevance: Many of the SR issues are addressed in the context of employee actions.   Whether applicable in its entirety, our sustainability consulting views the standard as a  guide for business improvement for any sized organization- including smaller organizations. Click here to continue reading.  

Home to one third of the earth's trees, the Taiga is the largest land-based biosphere and encircles the globe. Its immense oxygen production literally changes the atmosphere and refreshes the planet. It is this continuous renewal that has shaped Taiga Company's vision to drive similar change in the business world. Taiga Company seeks to be the "oxygen for your business".