Corporate Social Responsibility for Small Businesses

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a company-led movement and management style that aims to contribute to the wider social causes such as climate change and other ethical responsibilities.

Corporate. When you hear the word, you’re tempted to think of looming grey buildings, suits and ties, briefcases, and board rooms. You wouldn’t be far off in some cases. Corporate refers by and large to massive, faceless organisations. So, where does social responsibility come in and why does it matter just as much to smaller businesses?

If we imagine that every organisation, every business, every institution leaves a handprint on the earth. That’s a whole lot of handprints. But the fundamental thing that businesses and corporations need to understand is that some of these handprints will be stickier than others. Many will leave residue that will be difficult – perhaps impossible – to remove, for years to come.

In some settings, there’s a higher chance of a smaller business leaving a bigger, stickier handprint. Budgets are often tighter and business focus may be narrower; the wider responsibility to the planet feels inconsequential and maybe even needless. But we know this isn’t the case. In a recent study conducted by Social Green Solutions – awarders of the Green Compass Sustainability Award to businesses – there were a mass load of benefits companies with the award were seeing. Overall, there was a 50% increase in employee morale leading to 50% less employee turnover, improved productivity, increased financial performance and some were even seeing new market penetration opportunities.

 

What long-term and short-term changes can smaller businesses make that can have a lasting, positive impact?

 

It’s the million-dollar question, really. The more small businesses do, the more we’re finding out. Only in recent years have we been able to gather enough information to suggest that simply having things in place like CSR policies, can make a real difference in the years to come. Even more instant results, such as reduced printing costs and better working relationships have been noted on the long list of benefits for smaller companies. That’s not to say that implementing CSR practices won’t be costly for organisations, though. There are some changes that may require a higher investment. But, when it comes to the quality of your product, people, and the planet, we think it’s an investment worth making. You can start with…

  1. Establishing a set of realistic goals and creating a CSR policy

  2. Appointing a responsibility or CSR team to oversee any projects

  3. Writing up some sustainability guidelines for in-office and remote workers

  4. Encouraging volunteering and charity contributions through volunteer days for individuals and teams

  5. Educating your employees! There are plenty of training courses out there aimed at clueing your organisation up on socially responsible practices.

At Predatar, we’ve recently appointed a CSR team and implemented a Corporate Social Responsibility policy, alongside a public statement which you can view here. We’ll be working with our teams and partners to make sure we’re doing our bit and keeping our word.