ISO 26000 in Corporate Sustainability Practices : Case Study of the Forest and Energy Companies in Bioeconomy
Toppinen, Anne; Mikkilä, Mirja; Lähtinen, Katja (2018-08-04)
Springer International Publishing
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
In the emergence of bioeconomy in the European Union, sectorial boundaries are becoming blurred: renewable energy production is becoming increasingly integrated with the forest sector via the use of biomass for energy. The implementation of corporate responsibility as a firm- and industry-level strategic issue has become increasingly relevant in bioeconomy. As a result of this, new ways of assessing, monitoring and standardizing sustainability practices are evolving. The aim of this chapter is to make an overview of current state and implementations of seven ISO 26000 core topics as a part of sustainable business practices in case of four globally operating companies headquartered in Finland. Thus, we aim at scoping the challenges that organizations face in promoting a standardized view of their social responsibility, especially from upstream sourcing of raw material. Based on our findings, forest-based companies are strongly focused on environmental issues and organizational governance as key priorities for implementing their sustainability agendas, while for example consumer issues and human rights receive less attention. The energy companies have met less public pressure towards its operations compared to the forest industry. This is reflected in their implementation of social responsibility, which is understood in the sector much as responsibility towards customers and employees. We conclude that ISO 26000 standard may bring some added value to especially medium-scale companies with less sophisticated social responsibility processes, though it is not sufficiently detailed to incorporate any sector-specific issues.
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