What role should ‘corporate responsibility' play in the activities of a growing, entrepreneurial business?
- Staff, customers and suppliers increasingly want to work with a business that takes social responsibility seriously, and there are valuable paybacks.
- A single business can only expect to have a tiny impact on social needs but you can make a difference if you pick a local issue that is relevant to your business. A win-win position builds energy and perseverance.
- Working with networks such as Business in the Community (www.bitc.org.uk) can rapidly increase your effectiveness, contacts and profile in a local market.
Shape your brand
- Be clear about your brand values (what your business stands for, the service and behaviours that staff, customers and suppliers can expect).
- Recognise that you are part of a supply chain and that, increasingly, big customers require social and environmental responsibility from suppliers.
- Swim with this tide and build these values into your brand.
- Recruitment data is very clear: good staff want to work for socially-responsible employers.
- Clarify what you offer staff (e.g. volunteering opportunities).
- Provide time and opportunity for staff to shape and mobilise social and environmental projects (productivity and loyalty will be the payback).
Reduce your carbon footprint
- Recognise that environmental responsibility goes along with good management of resources and it usually reduces your costs.
- Measure, manage and reduce your carbon footprint and consider offsetting the remainder through a reputable provider.
- Obtain external validation of your carbon footprint if you intend to publish your achievements to an external audience.
By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at time of publication.