I have realised – over the past decade – how fast the concerns over the impact of business on our society and planet has emerge as a topic for every type of business. Big or small, leaders are now required to « care » more than ever.
From Child labor to #equalpay, from recycling to education for all, companies can have an amazing role in contributing while improving their balance sheet. This is a quick guide on how to kick start your initiative.
Combining this with the emerging capacity to check on companies promises vs their engagements and values; it is becoming more and more difficult to present a strait face and propose nothing.
- It does not look good to future clients,
- it does not look good for future employees,
- it does not look good as a business leader in its field.
What is CSR ?
Corporate Social Responsibility = is a self regulation that aims to contribute to a better relation between a private business and its environment (physical or social) : it gives room for business to take an active part into societal, environmental and philanthropic projects as landmark of their engagement.
Keep in mind that CSR is not a cost line, it is an approach that can change some company set ups. It would actually lead to savings, lower employees’ turn over and greater business prospects (studies shows)
Why is CSR good?
Because any longe term planner knows that to keep a business floating, it needs a healthy working environment. And green washing is not a fix. Large businesses are looking into their partners to offer some of their own CSR relief (see guide below) so small businesses have to come equipped with solutions on their field of activity. it won’t be a competitive advantage, but it could soon be a form of obligation.
Once out of the pack thanks to CSR, your business can leverage it with its clients and new businesses
But where to start ?
Let’s build up a simple step-by-step guide on the low hanging fruits towards building a no-nonsense CSR plan that can also gives you an edge in terms of business:
- Review your internal processes
- Do you consume intrant material? water? chemicals? power? Can this consumption be reduced?
- Do you generate waste? what is done with it?
- Where is your office, how employees come to work? where do they eat?
- Review your external partnerships
- What are your providers certification and environmental labels ?
- Do they have their own CSR plan?
- Have you set up requirements for them?
- Engage your employees
- Are your employees feeling concerned by CSR?
- Is your appraisal process including CSR questions ?
- Does any of your employees already leading an initiative or willing to participate into developing one?
- Choose your engagements
- Which of your company values resonate with environmental issue?
- Does your industry struggle with a particular societal problem?
- Does your office / business is located in an area which could benefit from local support?
Building this analysis can lead to clear first steps to improve the company impact, your providers relationships and the employees engagement. Maybe nothing clear emerges straightaway? Then we can suggest to help with a workshop session aiming to define long term company goals around positive issues based on the analysis. We believe that one day of focus can unleash a great set of empowering propositions to place your business in the right universe of work for good.
Do not hesitate to be in touch.