AA 1000

AA 1000 - a series of standards defined by an international organisation AccountAbility in co-operation with experts of the trade and stakeholders. The idea behind these guidelines is to provide support to enterprises so that they can successfully manage their activities regarding sustainable development, ethics and social issues. There are 3 standards:

  • The AccountAbility Stakeholder Engagement Standard (AA1000SES) – the standard describes specific guidelines on how to engage stakeholders. The document is meant for companies which would like to initiate dialogue with stakeholders.
  • The AccountAbility Principles Standard (AA1000APS) – the standard helps to determine what a given company already does well in this regard and what it could do to improve its corporate social responsibility. The standard also defines practical rules that are worth going by when trying to engage stakeholders.
  • The AccountAbility Assurance Standard (AA1000AS) – the standard shows how to check whether we engage stakeholders according to established rules.

Carbon footprint

The amount of greenhouse gases emitted by an organisation, a given process or product. It is expressed in equivalents of carbon dioxide per a functional unit of the product in question. Getting to know the carbon dioxide emission level is the first step enabling an organisation to manage its emission successfully.

Dialogue with stakeholders

A company engaging in open communication with groups and/or individuals affecting the activity of the company directly or indirectly. Candid and systematic dialogue is a basis for any successful CSR policy as the information collected in this way plays a vital role for defining strategic assumptions of corporate social responsibility at all levels of the entire organisation. Understanding the expectations of specific stakeholders and involving them in the process of developing solutions helps to build their trust in the company.

Employee and/or competence volunteering

It consists of the involvement of employees of a company into voluntary activity of the enterprise on behalf of the needy or the community.

Environmental influence

The influence exerted on the environment by a given company and its activities, products or services.

Ethical code

A set of rules and ethical values which are common for a group of employees and which determine behavioural standards. The code assists employees in their efforts to duly fulfil their professional responsibilities. It also suggests what rules should be followed in relationships between the managerial staff and regular employees as well as with external business partners.

Fair Trade

According to FINE – an association of the biggest four networks of fair trade, it is a trade partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect, one which strives for a greater extent of equality in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trade conditions and by protecting the rights of marginalised producers and hired workers, especially in the poorer southern hemisphere. By defining clear standards, the fulfilment of which allows a producer to place the Fair Trade trademark on the product, consumers are guaranteed that the product was made with respect for human rights.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

A non-profit organisation founded in 1997 in the USA (with the headquarters currently in Amsterdam), it relies on co-operation of a group of stakeholders. GRI encourages all organisations to report the issue of sustainable development socially and it aspires for social reporting to become a virtual duty for all organisations, similar to financial reporting. For this reason it developed a clear set of guidelines for measuring and reporting economic, environmental and social results – guidelines that have been distributed globally.

ISO 14001

An ISO standard, an environmental management norm that makes it possible to create an environmental management system (EMS) based on the so-called process approach. It relies on continuous improvement of activities within a given organisation.

ISO 26000

An ISO standard, a norm that systematises CSR knowledge, defines its framework and outlines its basic assumptions. According to ISO 26000, corporate social responsibility comprises corporate order, human rights, work relations, protection of the environment, relationships with consumers and social involvement. ISO 26000 also clearly differentiates between two terms often used interchangeably, i.e. sustainable development and corporate social responsibility.

Non-governmental organisation (NGO)

By definition, it is a voluntary group of citizens of a state which act together for a non-commercial purpose; it can be organised at a domestic or international level. NGOs include trade associations, foundations, religious groups, women’s groups and youth organisations, associations supporting the development and protection of human rights as well as organisations fighting for the protection of the environment. Non-governmental organisations are sometimes called the third sector – the other two being the public sector (government, state administration) and the market (business, enterprise).

Reputation

A sum of opinions, views and judgments regarding a given organisation, company or individual. It determines the extent of trust – or lack thereof, towards an entity. The notion of reputation is defined in a number of ways, it can be an effect of branding and in business terms it refers to the non-material value of a given company, reflecting its activities on the whole. Reputation within a community can be good or bad, it can also be gained or lost.

Respect Index

An index of companies ranked at the Warsaw Stock Exchange which succeed in including the policy of corporate social responsibility into their management strategies. The underlying assumption of the index is to promote the highest management standards in economic, ecological and social terms. Thanks to the inclusion of the parameter of fluidity among its criteria, the Respect Index is similar to other stock indices in that it is a real point of reference for professional investors.

Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000)

An international norm which determines corporate social responsibility for organisations; it mainly focuses on social and ecological aspects. The norm was created for enterprises of all lines of business from all over the world, hence the norm’s universal character.

Social campaign

A set of activities planned at a specific time and aimed at a specific target group. Its aim is to educate, raise awareness, change patterns of thinking or behaviour towards a given social issue.

Social involvement

Conscious participation of a company or organisation in the life of the community. It can assume different forms, e.g. charitable activities, social investments, co-operation with a social partner, education of children and adults, co-operation with universities, sponsorship, contribution to a social campaign.

Social and CSR report

A document which presents in a clear and transparent way information about the style of management within a given company: economic, social and environmental data on the company’s activity. Compiling a social report is a sign that an enterprise wants its activities to be associated with transparency and responsibility, which is understood here as fulfilling the duty of informing stakeholders, explaining to them the company’s decisions and activities.

Supply chain

The flow of materials, ready products, information and money from the moment raw material for production is acquired until the moment the end product is used by the end consumer and all the participants of the process have been paid.

United Nations Global Compact

The biggest global initiative run by the United Nations on behalf of corporate social responsibility. The norm defines 10 rules, every company joining the Global Compact programme vows to abide by them. In global economy, including the rules of the programme into strategies and business plans of companies makes sense economically. Global Compact is not a substitute for the activities of governments, but it makes it possible for companies to assume leadership roles for their own sake.

Stakeholders

Individuals or groups who affect the activity of a company directly or indirectly and who are in return affected by the activity of the organisation. Stakeholders include employees, consumers, non-governmental organisations, shareholders, suppliers, local communities, mass media, universities, local governments and state administration. According to the assumptions of the policy of corporate social responsibility, a company is held responsible to stakeholders in terms of its efficiency and at the same time it continuously tries to involve its stakeholders in the creation of solutions related to the company’s activity. The entire process ought to be founded on building long-lasting relationships by means of social dialogue. The AA1000 standards are one of the ways to provide support as they manage their relationships with stakeholders.

Volunteer

A person who willingly and without pay provides help and gets involved in work on behalf of people and institutions acting in different areas of social life. Such a person may work for public institutions, non-governmental organisations, cultural or sports institutions as well as many other organisations.

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