Questions:

1How can the CSR Performance Ladder logo be used?
• Regards: chapter 7.9 from part B: Logo CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 29 February 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-6

Requirements are stated in Chapter 3 of the standard in 3.2.8. When used and when published, the logo will display 'CSR Performance Ladder' in black and white and at all times relates to the activities and corporate entities as stated on the certificate. The logo and company name or name of the organization are intrinsically connected. It is not permitted to place this CSR logo on services or products. Logos can be requested from your certification institute after registration of your certificate on this website.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
2Who can provide an auditor training course for the CSR Performance Ladder?
• chapter 3.1 and 4.3 from part B of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 29 February 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-4

Basically everyone is free to provide a training course based on the CSR Performance Ladder. However, if a standard training course is provided for the purpose of certifying an auditor for the CSR Performance Ladder, then the provisions from article 3, sub 3 of the agreement between the Certification Institute and the FSR apply: 'The training course for the CSR Performance Ladder was demonstrably completed through Foundation Sustained Responsibility or completed at an internal trainer of the participating Certification Institute who completed this training course at Foundation Sustained Responsibility'

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
3What is meant by health and safety of employees?
• Regards: chapter 4.1 from part A: CSR indicator requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder, Indicator 3 - health and safety
• Determined: 05 June 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-3

The health aspects not only include the health aspects of the primary process (such as exposure to physical or mental strain, relevant to the prevention of occupational illnesses). This implies that it can also involve health-improving themes (such as the familiar Exercise, Smoking, Alcohol, Food and Relaxation themes) or policy and measures focused on improving sustainable employability (so people remain healthy and productive up to pensionable age).

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
4Our organization does not deliver to consumers, does this mean CSR core theme V does not apply to us?
• Regards: chapter 4.1 from part A: the organization and CSR indicators of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 14 June 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-21

No. 'Consumers' in CSR core theme V: Consumer issues should be read as 'users' (direct and indirect users) of the products or services provided by your organization. Core theme V thus equally applies to a business-to-business environment.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
5Do sustainable purchasing criteria also apply to purchasing, outsourcing and subcontracting by the CSR Performance Ladder certificate holder?
• Regards: chapter 4.1 from part A: CSR indicator 6 Strategy and management of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 05 June 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-5

The organization must structure its sustainable purchase policy itself. The purchase policy must be examined explicitly for the discussion with stakeholder groups regarding the minimum requirements for sustainable purchasing. Furthermore, clients can set requirements to sustainable purchasing. If this is the case, then these requirements must be met. If the organization provides services or products to the government, then these products must meet the government's criteria for sustainable purchasing if demanded by contract. This applies from level 1 of the CSR Performance Ladder onwards.

Situation in the Netherlands:
'Criteria Duurzaam Inkopen' (criteria for sustainable purchasing) are issued by the Dutch government. Similar Sustainable Criteria for products and/or services can be issued under a national government to replace this Dutch context. The criteria of Agentschap NL could serve as inspiration, but the CSR charter regarding sustainable purchasing of NEVI or the ICC guidance on supply chain responsibility are also good examples.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
6How strict should the 'Stakeholders must be mentioned by name and activity' requirement be taken?
• Regards: chapter 4.2 from part A: The organization and its stakeholders of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 05 June 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-11

The term 'stakeholders' is generally intended to mean 'interested party'. This involves (social) institutes or interest groups. It is not necessary to specify the level of individual people or companies/institutes unless it involves very specific interests or influences.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
7What is meant by the agreeing on the recorded values/results for Levels 3, 4 and 5?
• Regards: article 4.4.2. especially Table Properties
• Level CSR Management System
• Determined: 5 June 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR-P

The level of the performances must correspond with the level of the performance level that is strived for. Involving stakeholders and deliberating with them with respect to this level is vital (see 1.3 of the CSR Performance Ladder). The organization must argue convincingly that good practices (level 3), best practices (level 4) or World-class practices with detailed BATNEEC (level 5) are applied. Sometimes reference documents, benchmarks or agreements in covenants are available for this per industry. However, if this is not the case, then the company must assess this itself and must have an external audit performed by the auditor.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
8Is only compliance with CSR core themes IV, V and VI audited?
• Regards: chapter 4.1 from part A: the organization and CSR indicators of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 14 June 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-15

Among the 33 indicators, there are 3 that explicitly require compliance:
- CSR core theme IV: Doing honest business – indicator 17
- CSR core theme V: Consumer issues – indicator 22
- CSR core theme VI: Environment, resources, energy, emissions – indicator 29.

However, paragraphs 3.2.4 and 3.2.5 of the standard document indicate that an organization must meet all current legislation and regulations. An inventory must be made of them and they must be complied with demonstrably. The legislation and regulations regard all CSR core themes and underlying indicators.

Also for CSR core themes II: Working conditions and fulfilling work, and III: Human rights, are there any sanctions as a result of non-compliance with legislation and regulations, principles, standards or guidelines. With answering to the stakeholders as the basic principle, it is also expected that an organization is transparent regarding such sanctions, the causes and corrective measures taken should they transpire.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
9Where can you find more information regarding the 33 indicators?
• Regards: Appendix 1 from part A of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 29 February 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-7

Background information is provided in Appendix 1. Further information regarding the 33 indicators can be found in the ISO 26000 guideline. The 33 indicators of the CSR Performance Ladder are each classified under one of the seven CSR core themes stated in this ISO 26000 guideline and, as such, can be found in the corresponding articles.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
10Can an organization flag an indicator as not applicable?
• Regards: chapter 3 from part A: Definitions and abbreviations: CSR Indicator
• Determined: 31 October 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-10

'Not applicable' should be called 'currently not applicable', because it involves a snapshot in time.

A company can flag an indicator as 'currently not applicable', but must substantiate this for which the following criteria must at least apply:

An indicator is applicable, if:
• There is a direct relationship with own business operations and/or with the direct sphere of influence;
• The indicator is related to legislation and regulations, guidelines, covenants or other agreements that apply to the organization;
• Stakeholders deem the indicator important and/or have expectations regarding the topic.

An indicator is applicable if one or more of these criteria apply. An indicator is currently not applicable if none of these criteria apply.

The ISO 26000 guideline also covers a wider set of criteria that have been categorized according to relevance, significance and priority. It is not mandatory to use this method for the CSR Performance Ladder indicators.
The auditor wishes to see the following:
• Flagging an indicator as 'currently not applicable' is based on a documented motivation as indicated above.
• This documented motivation can be led back to the dialogue with the stakeholders.
• At certification level 4, the entire chain must be analysed. Flagging an indicator as 'currently not applicable' is only possible in highly exceptional cases.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
11How should stakeholders be questioned regarding the indicators?
• Regards: chapters 4.2 and 8.2 from part A: Stakeholders and indicators of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 31 October 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-14

The standard demands that there is a record of which of the 33 indicators are linked to the listed stakeholders and that the stakeholders are questioned with respect to these indicators.

Linking stakeholders to indicators is intended to gain decent insight into the stakeholder profiles prior to engaging into a dialogue with them. This can be seen as preparation for the impending dialogue.

The actual stakeholder dialogue does not necessarily have to be a discussion of a point by point list of indicators. During the dialogue with the stakeholders there is room for both parties to discuss random topics. It is important that the stakeholder had the opportunity to indicate which CSR topics are considered to be most important.

The dialogue preferably takes place face to face, especially if it concerns stakeholders that have a big influence on or major interest in the organization. Another form of dialogue, through e-mail or social media is also possible, however.

Based on the topics provided by the stakeholder, the organization itself can link them to the indicators and make an initial assessment.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
12Is there any freedom of choice with respect to the indicators at Level 3?
• Regards: chapter 4.1 from part A: CSR indicator requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 14 June 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-18

No, from Level 3 onwards, all indicators are mandatory, there is no room for choice anymore (see matrix, paragraph 4.3.2 on p. 25/26 of the standard). This also means that the Plan – Do – Check – Act must be completely filled in for all 33 indicators.

Exceptions can be made by flagging those indicators as 'currently not applicable'. See FAQ 10 for more information.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
13How is Indicator 11 'security policy' explained?
• Regards: chapter 4.1 from part A: CSR indicator requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 29 February 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-1

Companies that hire security personnel must ensure that these trained or untrained people do not perform any actions that are in conflict with legislation, international conventions (human rights) or internal company codes of good behaviour. They are not authorized to use excessive force (no use of firearms against civilians), imprison people under dire conditions, etc. even if this is permitted by law in the country the branch is located.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
14How is Indicator 12 'Rights of indigenous population' explained?
• Regards: chapter 4.1 from part A: CSR indicator requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 05 June 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-9

This concerns, for instance, respecting what they call 'native Americans' in Canada, for example and 'Aboriginals' or local tribes in other countries. It mainly involves respecting their rights regarding access to the land of their ancestors and maintaining their living environment.

Indigenous people are ethnic groups who are native to a land or region, especially before the arrival and intrusion of a foreign and possibly dominating culture. They are a group of people whose members share a cultural identity that has been shaped by their geographical region. A variety of names are used in various countries to identify such groups of people, but they generally are regarded as the 'original inhabitants' of a territory or region. Their right to self-determination may be materially affected by the later-arriving ethnic groups.

This means that you can check whether a country has indigenous people and if the operational activities can affect/reinforce their rights.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
15How can Indicator 23 'resources' be interpreted?
• Regards: chapter 4.1 from part A: CSR indicator requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 05 June 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-8

Read indicator 23 as follows: 'The company or organization makes its use of resources transparent and takes measures to use resources in a more sustainable way.'

This text not only applies to the resources required for a product or execution of a service, but also to all purchases of products or services. This also covers office supplies, cafeteria supplies, cleaning service, etc. All types of organizations must make efforts to take as many measures as possible to ensure more sustainable use of resources.

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
16Which measures are expected exactly for indicator 23 'resources'?
• Regards: chapter 4.1 from part A: the organization and CSR indicators of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 31 October 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-17

Indicator 23: Resources requires 1) transparency from the organization with respect to resource use, and 2) measures taken to use these resources in a more sustainable manner.

For service provision organizations, this also includes consumable materials.

Making resources transparent is intended to mean measuring the resource use in the various main flows and the application of a Plan – Do – Check – Act cycle to this.

A few examples of more sustainable use of resources are:
• Reducing the (relative) use of resources,
• Transitioning to traditional resources that are less harmful to people and the environment in the formation and use,
• Using new resources from recycling processes,
• Using new resources that are bio-degradable.


Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.
17Which measures are expected exactly for indicator 26 'biodiversity'?
• Regards: chapter 4.1 from part A: CSR indicator requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder
• Determined: 31 October 2012, Board meeting CBE-CSR
• Id: 2012-13

Indicator 26: Biodiversity is intended to mean that the negative effects of the presence and operational activities of an organization on the biodiversity in the surrounding environment are minimized.

Operational activities are also include purchasing materials and resources. The amount of influence an organization has on its own supplier chain is examined for this.

An organization's responsibilities with respect to biodiversity exceed the direct vicinity of the organization's location. This especially applies when a vital part of an organization's sustainability impact is part of the supplier chain. For instance, an organization can decide to use more materials with a certified hallmark (e.g. FSC or MSC).

For inspiration, you can also read the brochure 'Biodiversiteit in de regio' (2009) of the European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC) issued by order of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM).

Note: An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is not a standard document, but an explanation of the standard requirements of the CSR Performance Ladder.