Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – even the term itself sounds daunting and only for those big businesses with deep pockets and reputations to protect. But Corporate Responsibility (CR), as it is more commonly referred to nowadays, is something for every business to embrace. CR means doing business in a responsible way, operating both ethically and sustainably to the benefit of not just your business but the community in which it operates, society at large and the environment.
However, the proven benefits make a strong business case for adopting CR, with improvements seen across the board, from attracting and retaining customers, recruiting and keeping staff, managing risk in supply chains, driving innovation and productivity and even opening up new
markets. It can also lead to new business models such as those associated with the sharing and circular economy.
Practical CSR for every business
Businesses have many opportunities to create and develop responsibility and sustainability. Here are 10 practical things every business can do:
- Donate money to or raise funds for community causes or charities
- Participate in community and charity events
- Donate products or services to a community project or charitable organisation
- Improve waste management and energy efficiency
- Change products or services to reduce their environmental impact
- Calculate your carbon footprint
- Source local, ethical trade services and products
- Reuse, recycle, regenerate, reclaim or repair items you no longer want
- Provide work and training opportunities for young people, the unemployed and offenders
- Incorporate CSR into your business strategy
Being a responsible business is surprisingly easy and you may find, looking at the list above, that your business is already doing a lot. Simply fill in the gaps and you will find yourself reaping many rewards.