On March 13th 2019, 9 years after a global launch of ISO 26000, India adopted ISO 26000 as a national standard- verbatim- except for the annexures. The decision to adopt ISO 26000 contributes to maturity in the way India understands CSR.
ISO 26000:2010 provides guidance rather than requirements, so it cannot be certified to, unlike some other well-known ISO standards. Instead, 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
With INR 55000 crores spent since 2014 on CSR projects, a robust framework of ISO 26000 will help company secretaries, CSR Directors, CSR Teams, and Independent Directors for the CSR Board to plan, do,check, and act on their CSR projects in a scientific, professional manner.
National adoption of an ISO standard does not mean that companies/organisations must use the standard in that country. It simply means that the stakeholders in that country have decided, through the National Standards Body (NSB), that a standard is relevant to their market/society and needs to be translated and made available.
It is then up to the market and stakeholders to use the standard. As an international standard, ISO 26000 can be used by anyone regardless of whether it has been nationally adopted or not: it is always available at ISO (iso.org)
The overall goal of ISO 26000 is to help the user/organisation behave in a more socially responsibly way and thereby contribute more to sustainable environmental, social, economic development.