How retail companies can use standards to support their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

September 16th, 2009

A company that is socially responsible is one that actively contributes to the welfare of society in addition to their profit driving activities.

Contributions to the welfare of society can come in many forms such as supporting the arts, further education, give to social welfare agencies, supporting community-building initiatives, reducing pollution, and the other charitable causes. Businesses that adopt socially responsible directives help to allow government agencies to minimize their involvement with the corporation

One way that retail companies can add to their social consciousness is to try and use Certified Reference Materials or (CRMs) which are ‘controls’ or standards used to check the quality and traceability of products. Requiring these standards prior to purchasing products indicates a lot about companies commitment to its stakeholders which includes its consumers and those associated with them. It also mitigates risk should recalls occur as a result of harm.

As an example, a reference standard for a unit of measurement is an artifact that embodies the quantity of interest in a way that ties its value to the reference base. At the highest level, a primary reference standard is assigned a value by direct comparison with the reference base.

A primary standard is usually under jurisdiction of a national standards body such as the ISO or The International Organization for Standardization which is an international standard -setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Relative to an example of a primary standard, you might refer to the Future ISO 26000 standard on social responsibility published as Draft International Standard which ties very nicely to this post.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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