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This may be because it took six years to draft the standard.

Whilst it is an important statement of the moral and practical issues facing companies and other organisations, its shortcomings are obvious and the question arises whether the standard adds value to what already exists.

Agreed, common terminology, should facilitate the creation and use of frameworks for business, particularly in global corporations. The standard asks businesses to: take a precautionary approach to protecting the environment; promote greater environmental responsibility; and encourage environmentally-friendly technologies.

However, countries such as India, Pakistan and China, fear that their economies could be hampered by being unable to meet the required conditions.

The first cases filed were ‘wrongful death’ claims from families of the 11 workers killed when the rig exploded and sank.

But there are also suits from Gulf Coast businesses and out-of-work fishermen seeking compensation for loss of earnings.

BP’s shares are 30 percent below the level before the explosion in April.

The creation of an international standard providing guidance on SR was seen as a way of mainstreaming the concept, by creating a universal definition.The International Organization for Standardization is a network make up of 157 standards institutes worldwide.As social responsibility (SR) has become increasingly important to the corporate world, and although a variety of guidelines related to SR already exist (such as AA1000 and the OECD guidelines), there was a need to establish a framework that could be used by organisations worldwide. Unlike most International Standards which implement a management system, the ISO 26000 is intended to assist organisations in contributing to sustainable development, by providing guidance on SR.In light of the 2010 explosion of BP Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig, the importance of documenting and managing SR practices has become increasingly acute. Not only was the explosion an environmental disaster, but BP also lost its reputation as a good corporate citizen.BP is a prime example of how SR is of critical importance to an enterprise from both the public perception standpoint and for protecting the interests of investors and other stakeholders.

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