ISO (International Organization for Standardization) has launched a Web site – www.iso.org/sr – to support the International Conference on Social Responsibility that it is holding on 21-22 June 2004 in Stockholm, Sweden
As well as addressing the practical aspects of the conference (including online registration and the programme), the site carries the report prepared by the ISO advisory group on social responsibility (SR). This report includes an overview of SR initiatives and identifies issues that should be taken into account by ISO. In addition, the advisory group’s recommendations to ISO are posted on the Web site.
One of the key advisory group recommendations is that ISO should only proceed with a guidance document in the area of social responsibility if certain conditions are met. All interested parties – including those that will not be able to participate directly in the conference – are encouraged to submit their comments on the report and recommendations via the Web site.
The report, recommendations from the advisory group and feedback from the conference and Web site will assist ISO in deciding whether or not to propose the development of International Standards or other ISO tools addressing the social responsibility of organizations. Any such proposal would be subject to a vote by the full ISO membership.
Participation in the conference – hosted by the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) – is open to delegations from the national standards institutes that make up ISO’s membership and which are encouraged to ensure a balanced representation of interested parties. In addition, ISO has invited some 40 international organizations representing a broad range of stakeholder categories: government, industry, labour and consumers, as well as nongovernmental organizations and organizations with SR programmes.
Speakers at the conference include representatives of the UN Global Compact, the International Chambers of Commerce, Consumers International, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
ISO established its advisory group on social responsibility in early 2003 to help it decide on eventual involvement in SR. The group comprises representatives from around the world of a wide spectrum of stakeholder interests including business, government, labour, consumers and the environment. It is chaired by Daniel Gagnier, Senior Vice-President, External and Corporate Affairs, Alcan Inc..