CSR guidelines and principles
The European Commission encourages enterprises to base their approach to corporate social responsibility on internationally recognised CSR guidelines and principles. This is especially the case for larger enterprises and for enterprises seeking to adopt a more formal approach to CSR.
Five instruments together make up an evolving and increasingly coherent global framework for CSR:
Analysing company references to CSR guidelines and principles.
The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are far reaching recommendations for responsible business conduct that 44 adhering governments – representing all regions of the world and accounting for 85% of foreign direct investment – encourage their enterprises to observe wherever they operate.
The UN Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption. Companies can sign up to the UN Global Compact, which subsequently commits them to submit a yearly communication on progress report.
The ISO 26000 guidance standard on social responsibility is a voluntary international standard. It provides guidance rather than requirements, so it cannot be certified, unlike some other well-known ISO standards. It is aimed at all types of organisations, not just enterprises.
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights define what governments and enterprises should do to avoid and address possible negative impacts on human rights by enterprises. Based on the UN Guiding Principles, the European Commission has been developing an introductory guide to human rights for small businesses, and guidance for 3 business sectors.
- International Labour Organisation Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises on Social Policy
This declaration offers guidelines to multinational enterprises, governments, and employers' and workers' organisations in such areas as employment, training, conditions of work and life, and industrial relations. This declaration is the only ILO text that is also addressed to enterprises. The ILO provides a help-desk for enterprises on international labour standards.