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Guidelines for social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is based on innumerable regulations and international agreements as well as recommendations and standards. In addition, many principles and programmes have been prepared as support for companies. The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental
Principles and Rights at Work can be found here.

A few examples of the central responsibility initiatives and sets of guidelines are presented below. You will find more in the Exporting to Finland partition under the heading: Standards.


• World Bank Group: Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines
On the web page you can find the EHS guidelines, which contain information on cross-cutting issues connected with the environment, health and safety – applying them to all industrial sectors. The general EHS guidelines should be used together with the relevant sector-based guidelines.

• Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which belongs to the World Bank Group
IFC's eight Performance Standards are linked to the assessment of risks and management of environmental and social impacts, terms and conditions of employment, resource efficiency and prevention of pollution, community health and safety, land acquisition and forced displacement of the population, protection of diversity in nature and sustainable use of natural resources, native peoples, and cultural legacy.

• UN Global Compact
UN Global Compact is made up of ten principles that concern, for instance, human rights, the rights of employees, environment, and the prevention of corruption. Global Compact is not a standard, nor is it a legally binding contract: rather, it is a company’s voluntary commitment to operating in accordance with sustainable development. Over 10,000 firms in 145 countries have already committed themselves to these principles.

• OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
The OECD guidelines represent a set of policies based on voluntary participation by companies that operate internationally. The guidelines are the only cross-cuttingly approved set of corporate responsibility policies whose promotion is committed to the government level of the OECD countries. The guidelines deal with, for instance, working life questions, human rights, environmental concerns, communications, resistance to corruption, consumer questions, matters connected with science and technology, competition and taxation.


• Global Reporting Initiative, GRI
GRI is an international initiative whose goal is to help in the definition of essential matters to be reported as well as enhance the comparability of responsibility reports. GRI guidelines are composed as a cooperation project between various interest groups. If an enterprise wishes to build a management system for social responsibility, it can benefit from quality standards, environmental management standards and related standards for social issues. They can be combined into an operational system and the enterprise can, if it wishes, acquire external certification for its system. More information about the standards.

• ISO 26000 - Social responsibility

ISO 26000 provides guidance on how businesses and organizations can operate in a socially responsible way. This means acting in an ethical and transparent way that contributes to the health and welfare of society. It helps clarify what social responsibility is, helps businesses and organizations translate principles into effective actions and shares best practices relating to social responsibility, globally. It is aimed at all types of organizations regardless of their activity, size or location.