Corporate Social Responsibility.

The challenge.

What role should ‘corporate social responsibility’ play in the activities of a growing, entrepreneurial business?

The solutions.

Think strategically

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 limited impact in supporting social needs but you can always make a difference. Perhaps pick a local issue that is relevant to your business. A win-win position will build energy and recognition.

Working with networks such as Business in the Community www.bitc.org.uk can rapidly increase your connections, reputation and profile in your local market.

Shape your brand

Be clear about your brand values (what your business stands for and why it exists; the service and behaviours that staff, customers and suppliers can expect).

Recognise that you are part of a bigger ecosystem and that, increasingly, customers require social and environmental responsibility from their suppliers.

Swim with this tide and build these values into your brand.

Engage staff

Recruitment data is clear: staff want purpose and to work for socially responsible employers.

Consider what you can offer your staff in order to get them involved (e.g. volunteering opportunities).

Provide the time and opportunity for staff to shape and mobilise social and environmental projects (productivity and loyalty will be your payback).

Reduce your carbon footprint

Recognise that environmental responsibility goes along with good management of resources and that this 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.