A new international standard on social responsibility (SR), ISO 26000, Guidance on Social Responsibility, will be made available October 15, 2010 through ASQ (American Society for Quality). ASQ serves as the U.S. TAG (Technical Advisory Group) secretariat to ISO Working Group 26, developers of ISO 26000. Specific information about ISO 26000 can be found at http://www.asq.org/social-responsibility-standard/index.html.
The standard focuses on seven key aspects of social responsibility: organizational governance, community involvement and development, environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues, labor practices and human rights. While ASQ embodies and supports all seven subjects, it initially is concentrating on the areas that will deliver the greatest value to the quality community: organizational governance; environment; and community involvement and development.
'Stakeholders are looking for a transparent, credible yardstick to determine how an entity measures up to its social responsibilities,' said Dorothy Bowers, past chair of the U.S. TAG for ISO 26000. 'ISO 26000 will not only fulfill that need, but should, at the same time, help entities achieve their missions and enhance their organizational strengths.'
Recognizing that organizational leaders increasingly seek to practice and demonstrate social responsibility, ASQ began working with leading advocates of SR to partner on building an infrastructure to enable others to embrace and produce socially responsible practices in all areas of human endeavor. SR is an ideology. Quality is the methodology to achieve sustainability and measure impact from existing organizational strategies, systems, practices and processes. ASQ is developing concepts, tools and techniques to help organizations achieve SR business results. And as part of its growing effort to assume a leadership role locally and internationally in the SR movement, ASQ created the Socially Responsible Organization (SRO) initiative, www.TheSRO.org.
SR Product Portfolio
To assist organizations with implementation of the new SR standard, ASQ has also developed a portfolio of products and services. Access to this information can be found in the ASQ Knowledge Center's Standards Central, http://www.asq.org/standards/, and in the Hot Topics of Quality, http://www.asq.org/social_responsibility/index.html.
- A free webinar on ISO 26000, including an overview of SR by ASQ SR Discussion Board Moderator Chad Vincent. Future webinars will be produced throughout 2010.
- Case Studies on SR including Pathways to Social Responsibility.
- The 2011 ASQ International Social Responsibility Conference.
- ASQ Quality Press books currently including the following titles with more to be published this year:
- Corporate Sustainability Planning Assessment Guide (View the free webinar with the authors here.)
- Managing With Conscience for Competitive Advantage
- Bringing Business Ethics to Life
- Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence Criteria
- Public Health Quality Improvement
- ISO 26000 Explained (Available Fall 2010)
ASQ (American Society for Quality), www.asq.org, has been the world's leading authority on quality for more than 60 years. With more than 80,000 individual and organizational members, the professional association advances learning, quality improvement and knowledge exchange to improve business results and to create better workplaces and communities worldwide. As a champion of the quality movement, ASQ offers technologies, concepts, tools and training to quality professionals, quality practitioners and everyday consumers. ASQ has been the sole administrator of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award since 1991. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., ASQ is a founding sponsor of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a prominent quarterly economic indicator, and also produces the Quarterly Quality Report.