Although small businesses do not have corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in place as large companies do, they do have just as much opportunity to contribute to sustainable business.
Businesses that adopt socially responsible business practices benefit by saving money on costs, attracting better quality candidates, improving their image in the community, increasing sales from customers with similar values, and most importantly, contributing to good causes and a more sustainable environment.
Building a socially responsible business helps to set your business apart from competitors, improves your reputation and, ultimately, ensures your business is acting in an ethical and moral manner.
Here are three tips for improving your business’ social responsibility:
You don’t have to be a multi-million dollar company to give back. All businesses, regardless of their size, can support a local community or environmental initiative, whether that be sponsoring a local school sporting team, volunteering or contributing to local arts and culture, etc. Socially responsible businesses start by considering their neighbourhoods, communities, supply chains and the environment in their business mission and overall business conduct.
Environmentally harmful products and production and manufacturing methods not only damage the environment but they also harm your reputation. Adopt eco-friendly practices such as reducing your business’ energy consumption, i.e., switching to enviro-friendly fixtures and appliances, switching off equipment at the end of the working day and so forth. Look to sourcing ethical and sustainable materials and products and implementing strict recycling and reusing programs in the workplace to reduce your business’ carbon footprint.
Help solve community issues – whether it’s a local or global cause. Align your business’ values to a cause or variety of causes and create a program. For example, you may hold an annual fundraiser for a women’s shelter, create a volunteering program with a nursing home or partner with a global organisation. Look for creative ways of solving community issues and team up with other community groups and local businesses for more impact. If you get stuck for ideas, utilise your community to garner suggestions.