ISO 26000 Tips: First, Your Stakeholders

21/11/2011 at 15:35 3 comentarios

Where to start? Which steps should I take? How do I begin?

These are some of the questions that most companies, especially small and medium ones, pose themselves when they consider implementing a sustainability strategy. Of course, other questions will arise as well, especially related with costs and payback. However, doubts about how to start the process and which are the first steps that need be taken are some kind of existential doubt that always come up.

The guide ISO 26000 is a very useful tool for small and medium entreprises (SME) willing to commit themselves to corporate sustainability and responsibility. It offers a variety of hints on how to deploy the process.

One good piece of advice from the ISO 26000 is that a company should know who its stakeholders* are, as a first step prior to identifying relevant matters that need be addressed by the company.

*Basically, a stakeholder is everyone affected by the activities of our company: suppliers, employees, customers, shareholders, NGOs, the local community etc.

What is our reach? Which stakeholders are within this reach?

Identifying its stakeholders becomes the first milestone of a company’s way tos sustainability. Knowing who is affected by our impacts will let us know which issues need our special attention.

It requires a certain exercise of introspection by which we will analyse our internal and external relationships, as well as the impacts of our activities on others.  This is a great self-knowledge tool that will not only help us set priorities, but also detect new business opportunities that might have been ignored so far.

How can we identify our stakeholders?

  • We can check our activities by department, identifying each departemt’s stakeholders. For example, our purcahsing department has relationsips with suppliers, our sales department with customers and so on.
  • We could also analyse our products life cycle, from product design to market launching and waste management, and considering as well those stakeholders affected at any point along the supply chain (maybe hidden in some remote place far away).
  • You can also check how the company dealt with this issue in the past and build on that.

The advantage of stakeholder mapping as a step prior to implementing our sustainability strategy are the following:

  • It is the best way to know where we are and whom we are playing with in our organisation.
  • Identifying our stakeholders and being ready for their demands will open the gates to new business opportunities.
  • Stakeholder mapping helps prioritise and focus on those groups of particular relevance for our organisation. After all, our resources are limited, especially if we are a SME, and we need to focus on the essential.
  • Stakeholder analysis is the best way to avoid ignoring groups such as NGOs or communities that, even though they are not formal part of our organisation’s circles of action, are nevertheless affected by our activities.

Definitely, stakeholder mapping is one of the most valuable tips from the guide ISO 26000. It is probably the first step every company has to take on its roadmap towards corporate responsibility, right after having defined its strategy, and probably overlapping with other important steps, such as finding which issues are relevant to our company.


Entry filed under: Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability. Tags: , , , , , .

Europe settles it: CSR is an impact sport Some Tips On Stakeholder Inclusion

3 comentarios Add your own

  • […] I wrote in my previous post, stakeholder mapping (and prioritisation) are very important steps on a company’s road towards […]

  • 2. thestoryofmeaningfuluse  |  19/01/2012 en 23:37

    Juan, this is something I have been thinking about for some time. I am very interested in exploring the gap of culture between SME’s, small business and other stakeholders, who do not have to think with the scale of complexity of a global company, but step up to all that sustainability implies.

    • 3. Juan Villamayor  |  22/01/2012 en 17:45

      Lavinia, I agree with you. Companies need to include those stakeholders too if they want to implement a successful sustainability strategy. There are ways to involve those stakeholders without making them deal with the complexity that is inherent to meultinational corporations.
      Even the way how SMEs deal with their stakeholders is an interesting case of stakeholder engagement. And they, as well as MNC, need help to make it properly.



Por favor, inicia sesión con uno de estos métodos para publicar tu comentario:

Logo de

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Google+ photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google+. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )


Conectando a %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Juan Villamayor

Consultor en Responsabilidad y Sostenibilidad Empresarial (RSE). Economista y MBA radicado en Barcelona, con un perfil eminentemente internacional.

Es posible generar más valor mientras se aplican principios éticos. Al final todos salen beneficiados: las empresas, la sociedad y el medio ambiente. Eso es lo que yo llamo "Negocios Con Sentido Común".

Página web de Juan


Introduzca su dirección de email para suscribirse a este blog y recibir notificaciones por email cada vez que se publique un nuevo artículo.

Únete a otros 3.702 seguidores

Juan Villamayor en Twitter

Artículos anteriores

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: