EME 444
Global Energy Enterprise

Corporate Social Responsibity


Many companies now have well-publicized "Corporate Statements of Social Responsibility," "Codes of Ethics," and even positions with a title such as Ethics Officer. Baron (2010, p. 724) cites two factors contributing to the spread of statements of social responsibility:

  • a belief by some firms that they should be accountable for conduct beyond profit maximization, and
  • a defensive motivation intended to avoid private politics led by interest groups or to preempt public politics and additional government regulation.

What does this mean, exactly, a "corporate statement of responsibility?" The International Standards Organization (ISO) has set forth a voluntary standard for social responsibility in an international setting. The figure below illustrates the content addressed in the standard, including seven core subjects of social responsibility: organizational governance, human rights, labour practices, the environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues, and community involvement and development.

ISO's voluntary standards for social responsibilty in an international setting. explained above and in additional materials
Figure 3.1 — Schematic overview of ISO 26000
Credit: International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved January 2017 from International Organization for Standardization.

To Read Now

Visit the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Read the landing page and watch the short video, "What ISO standards do for you."

(Click for a transcript of "What ISO standards do for you" video.)

We live in an amazing world full of incredible opportunities and endless possibilities. But it can also be a complex and overwhelming place. When things don't work as they should, it often means taht standards are absent, but when ISO standards are applied, life is just so much richer. ISO standards help to make the world a safer, cleaner, and more efficient place: from food safety to computeres; from health care to new technologies. There are many challenges facing our environment economy and society, ISO can make a positive difference to all our lives, utilizing a wealth of international experience and wisdom. In today's ever changing world, ISO standards help create growth, open iup global markets and make trade fairer, including for developing countries. ISO standards can help tackle global challenges like climate change, road safety, energy, and social responsibility. ISO standards touch almost everything we do, keeping us connected, and entertained, making us more productive, more creative; sharing ideas, promoting innovation and keeping us safe and healthy. ISO is the world's largest developer of voluntary standards. With over 18,000 standards for nearly every aspect of technology and business. For over 60 years, a network of standards bodies in 163 countries, working in partnership around the world and right here at home. ISO builds confidence: for today, tomorrow, and the future.

Read the page ISO 26000 - Social Responsibility (not required, but watch video if you have 47 seconds!)

On the right-hand side of the ISO 26000 page, click the link below "Preview our standards." Read first few paragraphs of "Introduction" closely (you can stop at Box 1), and scan the remainder.