Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility is a very wide subject area. It covers everything from how you treat your staff, equal opportunities, supporting your local community, ethical business practise and supporting charity through to caring for the environment.
For this article I would like to focus on the environment as it is today’s hot topic.
I am a hypocrite
I believe that we should be doing more for our environment and yet….
- I drive a gas guzzling car – and I like it;
- I use my car for most journeys of more than half a mile or so;
- Most of the “things” I buy, I buy on-line and a gas guzzling van delivers them;
- I have a bad habit of printing documents when I needn’t;
- Most things I buy in supermarkets come with plastic in some form;
- I leave lights on when I shouldn’t;
- I fly abroad for holidays.
If I sit and think then I could come up with many more bad habits.
If you are a small business then you should also be thinking about your bad habits and trying to do something about them. Some examples might include:
- Have you swapped out your light bulbs for LEDs?
- Have you considered buying your energy from a green energy supplier?
- When staff need to travel for work, do you encourage them to use public transport where they can?
- If you have lease vehicles for business use – are they green?
- Could you install a vehicle charging point at your offices?
- Do you actively look to source your supplies from ethical sources?
- How good are you at managing your waste?
- Have you thought about doing all your orders, invoices, remittances etc. electronically? You don’t need to print them.
- Do you supply water in plastic bottles for your staff and/or visitors?
- How good are you at switching lights and other equipment off when not in use?
- Have you looked at more working from home, rather than your staff having to commute?
Depending on what type of business you are in, there are likely to be many more opportunities for you to do your bit and be a little bit more Socially Responsible.
We small businesses are not going to be able to save the planet all on our own, but that is no excuse for not being better than we are.
The current environmental issues are as much about mindset as anything else. We need to change, but first we need to WANT to change. This is the really hard part.
I hope this little article has inspired you to at least think about it, and make some changes.