While the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been fully embraced by large businesses and international corporations, it’s only in recent years that it has begun to influence the thoughts of small and medium sized enterprises in the mainstream. This is most likely to due to the perceived cost of implementing CSR measures and the assumed lack of tangible return it provides, but this outlook is finally starting to change in the wake of new data and reports.
Take the fact that 70% of surveyed marketing professionals claimed that CSR was one of their key considerations when choosing a new job role, for example, which suggests that effective CSR strategies can benefit various aspects of small businesses. With this in mind, what low-cost but practical steps can you take towards implementing a culture of CSR in your small business?
1. Invest in Sustainable Web Hosting
A relatively new and compelling trend in the web industry, this is set to take hold in 2014 and drive considerable change. Green and environmentally friendly web hosting enables small business owners to partner with like-minded companies and benefit from a sustainable service, which incorporates recycled materials and processes which minimise waste. If you are serious about investing in CSR, it is important to create a viable culture around it and ensure that it drives every single business decision that you take.
2. Create a Sustainable Recycling Program
Recycling is a crucial component of any CSR strategy, as it dictates how you manage office waste and deal with disposing of your materials. Companies that fail to invest time and money into responsibly recycling materials cannot claim to be environmentally friendly at all, and therefore any further attempts that they make to implement CSR strategies would be entirely futile. This once again requires the assistance of a viable partner, with companies such as Lombard Recycling capable of offering a sustainable solution to your waste disposal needs.
3. Become Energy Efficient
Energy efficiency is another central feature of CSR, which also enables business owners to reduce their annual costs. This not only requires the replacement of standard bulbs with LED fittings and similar practical measures, however, but also the cultivation of awareness among your employees. By developing a culture in which employee is empowered to take individual responsibility for minimizing energy consumption where possible, you will gradually be able to implement a sustainable energy strategy that contributes positively to the natural environment and considerably reduces your business costs.
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