CSR Standard : Responsible Practices in Companies

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) promotes the integration of social, environmental and economic concerns into their practices. It encourages responsible action in various areas. This guide will familiarize you with the CSR standard and its impact on organizational strategy, providing a perspective on sustainable practices.

What is the CSR standard ?

The CSR standard represents the first international standard dedicated to corporate social responsibility (CSR). It was the result of international collaborative work, with the contribution of various countries and sectors of activity, and was officially introduced in 2010.

Unlike other standards, CSR is not certifiable. In other words, it does not propose a set of criteria that must be met to obtain compliance certification. Rather, it aims to serve as a guide for organizations wishing to move towards responsible and sustainable practices thanks to its label, which is the CSR label.

It defines social responsibility as an organization’s commitment to minimize the negative effects of its actions on society and the environment. This involves ethical and transparent conduct that :

  • promotes sustainable development, including health and general well-being  
  • considers the interests of stakeholders
  • complies with existing laws and international standards of good behaviour  
  • is integrated into all areas of the organization and applied in its interactions

The CSR standard encompasses seven key areas :

  1. corporate governance
  2. human rights
  3. working conditions and relations
  4. respect for the environment
  5. integrity of business practices
  6. consumer protection
  7. support for communities and local development

For each area, the standard sets out guiding principles, challenges and actions for responsible management. It also provides guidance to integrate these principles at the heart of a company’s strategy, management and operations.

When should you consider the CSR standard ?

The CSR standard is designed for all entities wishing to take responsibility for their social responsibility while contributing to sustainable development. While there isn’t a specific time to adopt it, some indicators may signal that it’s time to consider the CSR standard. Some of these signals include :

  • Meeting regulatory requirements, stakeholder expectations or the emergence of market opportunities related to social and environmental challenges.  
  • The desire to strengthen your organization’s brand image, reputation or competitiveness through the affirmation of responsible practices.  
  • The objective is to improve overall performance, operational efficiency or innovation by integrating the principles of social responsibility into your management strategies and methods.  
  • The desire to bring together employees, partners and customers around a common vision and mission.

Opting for the CSR standard means choosing an intentional, proactive and sustainable approach, allowing you to adapt to changes in your environment, meet the expectations of your stakeholders and generate value for both your organization and society.

The benefits of adopting the CSR standard for your company

The adoption of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) standard brings significant benefits for organizations, covering the economic, social, and environmental spheres. These benefits revolve around four major axes :

Regulatory conformity

Complying with the CSR standard helps organizations comply with international regulations and standards, reducing the risk of sanctions, legal proceedings, or complaints. It also meets the growing expectations of transparency and responsible engagement from customers, suppliers, investors, and public authorities.

Enhanced reputation

En s'alignant sur des pratiques éthiques et transparentes, les entreprises voient leur image de marque et leur crédibilité s'améliorer vis-à-vis de l'ensemble de leurs parties prenantes. Ces actions contribuent à renforcer la confiance, la loyauté et la satisfaction, favorisant la différenciation sur le marché et l'attraction de nouveaux talents et opportunités.

Performance optimization

Integrating CSR principles into the strategy and management of an organization improves operational efficiency, innovation, and overall performance. The standard helps to identify and minimize risks, costs, and negative impacts, while encouraging better use of resources and the development of innovative products and services that benefit both the company and society.

Ensure the sustainability of the company

Engaging your company in a voluntary and continuous CSR approach prepares it for environmental changes and evolving stakeholder demands. By anticipating the challenges and opportunities related to social and environmental issues, the standard helps companies adjust their practices for sustainable development aligned with their vision and mission.

Why is the CSR standard considered a strategic tool for organizations ?

The CSR standard is not just a reference framework for corporate social responsibility. It also proves to be an important strategic lever that allows organizations to stand out in the market, position themselves advantageously against the competition and generate value in the long term. Let’s examine why the CSR standard is seen as a strategic asset for companies :

It meets the expectations of stakeholders

Stakeholders, whether they are customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, public authorities or associations, play a crucial role in the success of an organization by having ever higher expectations regarding social responsibility. The latter can have a positive influence on organizations, pushing them to adopt more responsible practices. Thanks to the CSR standard, companies can meet these expectations, thus strengthening the trust, loyalty and satisfaction of their stakeholders.

It promotes innovation and competitiveness

In an ever-changing world, innovation and competitiveness are key to success. By promoting these aspects, the CSR standard encourages companies to identify and exploit opportunities related to social and environmental challenges. This includes the development of innovative products and services, process optimization, cost reduction and quality improvement. As a result, the CSR standard allows companies to stand out, explore new markets and solidify their competitive position.

It contributes to sustainable development

Sustainable development seeks to meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, based on harmony between the economic, social and environmental spheres. The CSR standard plays an essential role in promoting sustainable development, encouraging companies to take into account the impact of their activities on society and the environment, while adopting ethical and transparent conduct.

In this way, the CSR standard not only contributes to the creation of value for companies themselves, but also for society as a whole and for the environment.

What are the key steps to audit and improve a quality management system according to the CSR standard ?

To conduct an effective audit and make improvements to a CSR-compliant quality management system, several essential steps must be followed :


Planning involves establishing the goals, scope, standards and schedule of the audit. It is also crucial to select qualified, independent and neutral auditors.

This preparatory phase includes the preparation of the necessary audit documents, such as the audit program, checklists, and report templates.


This step covers the opening meeting, gathering and evaluating evidence, making observations and closing meeting. The audit must be conducted in a professional, ethical and objective manner, in accordance with the guidelines of ISO 19011, adjusting to the particular context and requirements of the audited organization, while considering the aspects of social responsibility.


The audit report is the document that details the results of the audit, including positives, gaps, discrepancies, areas for improvement and recommendations. This document must be accurate, comprehensive, relevant and easy to understand. Prior to its release, it requires auditor validation and approval by the audit manager.

The report must then be communicated to stakeholders within the agreed timeframe.


The monitoring shall assess the implementation and effectiveness of the corrective and preventive measures adopted after the audit. It may include document review, on-site controls or additional auditing.

This step ensures that the problems identified during the audit are satisfactorily resolved and that the quality management system evolves towards continuous improvement.

What is the difference between the CSR standard and the CSR label ?

Both the CSR standard and the CSR certification aim to promote the social responsibility of organizations, although they differ in their nature and application. Let’s explore the main distinctions between these two approaches :

The CSR standard

  • Known as the ISO 26000 standard, the CSR standard represents the first international standard dedicated to the social responsibility of organizations.
  • It does not lend itself to certification, but rather serves as a guide for companies wishing to adopt responsible and sustainable practices.
  • This standard provides a framework for societal responsibility, including definitions, principles, challenges and recommendations for action. It addresses seven major areas, ranging from governance to local engagement to human rights and environmental management.
  • Applicable to any type of organization, regardless of sector or size, ISO 26000 has been established by international consensus, reflecting the diversity of global perspectives and interests.

The CSR label

  • The CSR label is an approach allowing a company to have its quality management compliance with established social responsibility criteria assessed by a third party entity.
  • Obtained from accredited bodies, this certification requires periodic audits to ensure the maintenance of standards and must be renewed regularly.
  • Based on specific standards, it can be supported by various institutions and cover a range of areas, with examples such as the CSR label, the ISO 14001 standard, Lucie and B Corp.
  • To be adopted on a voluntary basis, it aims in particular to demonstrate responsible commitment, stand out from the competition and meet the expectations of stakeholders.

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Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)


Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)


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