SHIFT: Meeting Corporate Philanthropy Where It’s Headed- Influencers

THE INFLUENCE OF GOVERNANCE ON CORPORATE GIVING

In addition to the shifts and perspectives being discussed and implemented in the business academic world, we see advancement in the environment surrounding business governance as well.

ISO 26000 was implemented on September 14, 2010. For those not familiar, The ISO –a network of the national standards institutes of some 160 countries that develop and coordinate standards of operations for business lines. The standards govern the management of Quality, Risk Environmental, and now Social Responsibility. Simply put, these standards are applied to a company’s business practices, which actively engage in pursuing compliance. When they do so, they are awarded an ISO brand of approval for achieving and maintaining these standards. These are highly coveted and companies who achieve them make them visible.

In the words of the ISO itself “The world demands social responsibility. ISO 26000, the first internationally approved standard to provide guidance on social responsibility, is a global response to this global challenge.”

The ISO 26000 is intended to outline for companies:

  • concepts, terms and definitions related to social responsibility;
  • the background, trends, and characteristics of social responsibility;
  • principles and practices relating to social responsibility;
  • the core subjects and issues of social responsibility;
  • integrating, implementing, and promoting socially responsible behavior throughout the organization and, through its policies and practices, within its sphere of influence;
  • identifying and engaging with stakeholders; and
  • communicating commitments, performance, and other information related to social responsibility.

This is the first time an organized set of standards has been produced and disseminated for companies to follow. Thought leaders believe this will be game-changing for companies in strategizing and developing their social responsibility.

ISO 26000 is a response and a governance influence on corporations. IN part it may stem from the multitude of influencers outside the corporate circle. When JP Morgan Chase investors assemble to vote on a “Genocide Free” investing policy for the company, the pressure to conform and perform to standards is undeniable.  Loss of trust by the consumer, civil society activism, and Institutional investor pressures, all bear significant influence on corporations today.

 

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