AA1000 (Accountability 1000) They are principles-based standards to help organisations become more accountable, responsible and sustainable. They address issues affecting governance, business models and organizational strategy, as well as providing operational guidance on sustainability assurance and stakeholder engagement. The AA1000 standards are designed for the integrated thinking required by the low carbon and green economy, and support integrated reporting and assurance. (Source: )

Accountability State of being answerable for decisions and activities to the organisation's governing bodies, legal authorities and, more broadly, its stakeholders (© ISO 2010 – All rights reserved )

Benchmarking It involves the comparison of environmental and social management procedures, and the effectiveness and social impact assessment of a company. It can be used to provide detailed comparisons between parts of an enterprise or between companies in a particular sector. It also makes possible the comparison with global trends between organizations or sectors with great distinction. (Source: CSR: Network)

Best Practice BP refers to practices that enable companies to demonstrate leadership in the integration of a healthy and responsible business strategy. (Source:

Code of conduct Set of rules outlining the responsibilities of or proper practices for an individual, party or organisation. Related concepts include ethical codes and honor codes. In its 2007 International Good Practice Guidance, "Defining and Developing an Effective Code of Conduct for Organisations", the International Federation of Accountants[1] provided the following working definition: "Principles, values, standards, or rules of behavior that guide the decisions, procedures and systems of an organisation in a way that (a) contributes to the welfare of its key stakeholders, and (b) respects the rights of all constituents affected by its operations."

Corporate Citizenship An alternative term to “corporate social responsibility” that tries to convey that as citizens, companies have both rights and responsibilities within the communities in which they operate. It concerns the ethical and socially responsible manner treatment of stakeholders of a business. The aim is to create more and higher living standards while protecting the profitability of the company and the stakeholders both inside and outside. (Source: ILO Enterprise Forum, Geneva, Nov.1999,

Corporate Governance Corporate Governance is concerned with maintaining the balance between the economic and social objectives of a company. The corporate governance framework is there to encourage both the efficient use of resources, as well as to require accountability for the management of these resources. The aim is to focus on the interests of stakeholders alongside to those of business and society. (Source: Sir Adrian Cadbury in 'Global Corporate Governance Forum', World Bank, 2000)

Corporate Social Responsibility Initially defined by the European Commission as "a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis". In the 2011 EC communication (COM(2011)681 FINAL) it is defined more simply as: "the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society"

Ecosystem A community of living organisms that interacts with themselves and with their environment.

Ethical behaviour Behaviour that is in accordance with accepted principles of right or good conduct in the context of a particular situation and is consistent with international norms of behaviour (© ISO 2010 – All rights reserved )

Ethical Trade The Ethical trade aims to ensure that the conditions of production meet basic standards of human rights and health and safety. (Source: Rebecca Collings)

Fairtrade It is a movement to help farmers and small producers in developing countries gain direct access to international markets. It is a form of subsidy where the consumer pays a premium amount above the purchase price is returned to the producer for the social and environmental development. It is a label to announce that a product is part of the movement of ethical trade. (Source:

Gender equality Equitable treatment for women and men

Social dialogue Negotiation, consultation or simply exchange of information between or among representatives of governments, employers and workers, on matters of common interest relating to economic and social policy (© ISO 2010 – All rights reserved )

Socially responsible investing (SRI) Also known as sustainable, socially conscious, or ethical investing, describes an investment strategy which seeks to consider both financial return and social good. In general, socially responsible investors favor corporate practices that promote environmental stewardship, consumer protection, human rights, and diversity. Some (but not all) avoid businesses involved in alcohol, tobacco, gambling, weapons, and/or the military. The areas of concern recognized by the SRI industry can be summarized as environment, social justice, and corporate governance (ESG). (Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia)

Social responsibility Responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behaviour  that:
- contributes to sustainable development, including health and the welfare of society; 
- takes into account the expectations of stakeholders; 
- is in compliance with applicable law and consistent withinternational norms of behaviour; and 
- is integrated throughout the organization and practised in its relationships 
(© ISO 2010 – All rights reserved)

Stakeholder Individual or group that has an interest in any decision or activity of an organization (© ISO 2010 – All rights reserved )

Sustainability report Sustainability reporting is the practice of measuring, disclosing, and being accountable to internal and external stakeholders for organizational performance towards the goal of sustainable development. (Sustainability Reporting Guidelines - Version 3.0 –

Sustainable development Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development is about integrating the goals of a high quality of life, health and prosperity with social justice and maintaining the earth's capacity to support life in all its diversity. These social, economic and environmental goals are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. Sustainable development can be treated as a way of expressing the broader expectations of society as a whole.(© ISO 2010 – All rights reserved )

Transparency Openness about decisions and activities that affect society, the economy and the environment, and willingness to communicate these in a clear, accurate, timely, honest and complete manner(© ISO 2010 – All rights reserved )

Triple Bottom Line (triple approach) The idea that the overall performance of a business should be calculated based on the combined contribution to economic prosperity, environmental quality and social capital. The TBL is not focused only on the economic value adding business but also to environmental and social value they add - and destroy. The narrower interpretation of the term "triple bottom line" is used as a framework for measuring and reporting business performance against economic, social and environmental aspects. In the broadest interpretation of the term is used to understand the overall range of values, issues and processes that should turn the business to minimize any damage that results from their activities and create economic, social and environmental value. This implies transparency about the aims of the business and assesses the needs of all stakeholders of the company, shareholders, customers, employees, business partners, governments, local communities and the public. (Source: European Commission, 2001, SustainAbility)

UN Global Compact Principles (Principles of the UN Global Compact) A total of 10 business principles, published by the United Nations, with which companies can be incorporated on a voluntary basis in their strategies. The principles, from the various documents of the United Nations, address human rights, labor standards, fighting corruption and the environment. More information can be found at

Vulnerable group Group of individuals who share one or several characteristics that are the basis of discrimination or adverse social, economic, cultural, political or health circumstances, and that cause them to lack the means to achieve their rights or otherwise enjoy equal opportunities (© ISO 2010 – All rights reserved )


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