What Are the Core Subjects of Social Responsibility?

What Are the Core Subjects of Social Responsibility?

Knowledge Center > Learn About Quality > Learn About Standards > ISO 26000 > Core subjects

The ISO 26000 standard defines the core subjects of social responsibility. Core subjects comprise a number of issues, and it is an individual organization's responsibility to identify which issues are relevant and significant for the organization to address, through its own considerations and through dialogue with stakeholders

The seven core subjects are explained in Clause 6 of the ISO 26000 standard. They are listed below, along with their subclause numbers.

Core subject: Organizational governance, subclause 6.2

Decisions are to be made in consideration of the expectations of society. Accountability, transparency, ethics, and stakeholders should be factors in the organization’s decision-making process.

Core subject: Human rights, subclause 6.3

All humans have the right to fair treatment and the elimination of discrimination, torture, and exploitation.

    6.3.3 Due diligence
    6.3.4 Human rights risk situations
    6.3.5 Avoidance of complicity
    6.3.6 Resolving grievances
    6.3.7 Discrimination and vulnerable groups
    6.3.8 Civil and political rights
    6.3.9 Economic, social, and cultural rights
    6.3.10 Fundamental principles and rights at work

Core subject: Labor practices, subclause 6.4

Those working on behalf of the organization are not a commodity. The goal is to prevent unfair competition based on exploitation and abuse.

    6.4.3 Employment and employment relationships
    6.4.4 Conditions of work and social protection
    6.4.5 Social dialogue
    6.4.6 Health and safety at work
    6.4.7 Human development and training in the workplace

Core subject: Environment, subclause 6.5

The organization has a responsibility to reduce and eliminate unsustainable volumes and patterns of production and consumption and to ensure that resource consumption per person becomes sustainable.

    6.5.3 Prevention of pollution
    6.5.4 Sustainable resource use
    6.5.5 Climate change mitigation and adaptation
    6.5.6 Protection of the environment, biodiversity, and restoration of natural habitats

Core subject: Fair operating practices, subclause 6.6

Building systems of fair competition, preventing corruption, encouraging fair competition, and promoting the reliability of fair business practices help to build sustainable social systems.

    6.6.3 Anti-corruption
    6.6.4 Responsible political involvement
    6.6.5 Fair competition
    6.6.6 Promoting social responsibility in the value chain
    6.6.7 Respect for property rights

Core subject: Consumer issues, subclause 6.7

The promotion of just, sustainable, and equitable economic and social development with respect to consumer health, safety, and access is the organization’s responsibility.

    6.7.3 Fair marketing, factual, and unbiased information and fair contractual practices
    6.7.4 Protecting consumers' health and safety
    6.7.5 Sustainable consumption
    6.7.6 Consumer service, support, and complaint and dispute resolution
    6.7.7 Consumer data protection and privacy
    6.7.8 Access to essential services
    6.7.9 Education and awareness

Core subject: Community involvement and development, subclause 6.8

The organization should be involved with creating sustainable social structures where increasing levels of education and well-being can exist.

    6.8.3 Community involvement
    6.8.4 Education and culture
    6.8.5 Employment creation and skills development
    6.8.6 Technology development and access
    6.8.7 Wealth and income creation
    6.8.8 Health
    6.8.9 Social investment

Learn more about these social responsibility core subjects from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (PDF).


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