7 Ways Your CSR Strategy Can Help the Environment Today!


Does your business have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy? If not, now is the time to put one in place. It is easier than you think and has tons of benefits.

Here are 7 ways your CSR strategy can help the environment! Also, Also, use our special discount below to save money on eco-friendly products!

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CSR Strategy Definition

A CSR strategy is your company’s way of demonstrating to stakeholders, such as customers, employees, investors, and the public, that you are responsible and accountable for your actions. That ranges from your environmental impact to social justice and equity. 

CSR Strategy - Environment

Your business activities affect those around you, so you must create policies to ensure they are positive.

One way to do that is to focus on the environment. You can structure your CSR strategy to have a minimal impact on the planet and help create a sustainable future. Below are 7 easy ways to do so. 

7 Ways Your CSR Strategy Can Help the Environment

1. Plant a Tree for Every Product/Service Sold via “One Tree Planted”

Small businesses can partner with “One Tree Planted” to plant a tree for every product/service sold.

One Tree Planted is a non-profit organization focused on reforestation. They plant trees around the world and make it easy for people to help. It only takes 1 dollar to plant one tree!

This is an easy CSR strategy that you can implement today and post on your website or social media!

2. Reduce Paper and Plastic Waste

Did you know that the average office worker generates about 2 pounds of waste every day? Fortunately, today's technology can help us waste less. Below are CSR strategies to reduce waste.

Use Recycled Printing Paper

Using recycled printing paper will immediately reduce your carbon footprint. It looks and feels like normal printer paper. However, it is made from recycled food and beverage containers.

PrintWorks Recycled Printer Paper

Print Double Sided

Make sure your computer and printer are automatically set to print double-sided. According to the EPA, printing double-sided can reduce your paper waste by 10 - 40%.

Picture of Person Printing
Learn how to set up double-sided printing in less than 3 minutes here.

Implement Follow-Me Printing 

Follow-me printing, also known as “pull-printing”, sends each print job to a server and the documents print when the user scans a badge or inputs an access code at the printer. The user must request the documents at the printer instead of them printing automatically.

A lot of documents are left in the printer tray and never retrieved. Follow-me printing helps reduce waste, save money, and protect sensitive documents.

Share Documents Electronically Whenever Possible 

Share materials electronically whenever possible via email, Dropbox, etc. When signing documents, use apps such as Adobe Fill & Sign or Docusign

Use Paperless Notebooks

Use paperless notebooks to take notes at work or school.

Our readers love the Rocketbook Notebook. It is the most popular ecofriendly product and has tons of positive reviews on Amazon.

People rave about this wired notebook that is erasable and reusable. It looks and feels like a regular notebook but is an environmentally friendly alternative!

It can even store your notes in Google Drive, One Note, and Drop Box. Rocketbook is available on Amazon. There are a ton of success stories and it is one of our favorite products.

Remove Paper Cups and Plastic Water Bottles

Finally, remove paper cups and plastic water bottles from your facilities. Employees and customers will bring mugs, thermoses, and water bottles rather than go thirsty.

3. Decrease Electricity Use

Take Advantage of Natural Light

If your office or warehouse has windows, then be sure to optimize natural light. Avoid turning on light bulbs during the day by keeping curtains, shades, and blinds open.

Install Energy Efficient Lights

Furthermore, install energy efficient lights that turn off automatically when no one is in the room. Or replace your current lightbulbs with low-cost LED light bulbs.

Use Smart Plugs to Turn Off Electronics Automatically

Additionally, you can buy smart plugs that turn off electronics automatically. Smart plugs turn off lights, fans, and appliances automatically either through a timer or on an app through your phone

Smart Plugs Save Energy

Decrease the Brightness on Your Computer Monitors

Go Green by Decreasing the Brightness on Your Computer Monitor - Picture of computer monitor with brightness symbol

According to a Harvard University professor, reducing your computer monitor’s brightness from 100% to 70% can save up to 20% of the monitor's energy. 

Most people will not notice the difference from making this adjustment, so it is a quick and easy csr strategy. 

4. Decrease Water Use

Decreasing water use saves resources and helps the environment.

Start with making small changes with your faucets and bathroom facilities.

Use Faucet Sensors

For example, you can install sensors on your faucets that automatically turn the water off when someone pulls their hands away, resulting in up to 70% water savings!

The sensor below fits on any sized faucet, and you can install it yourself without a plumber. 

5. Decrease Use of Fossil Fuels

Hold Virtual Meetings Whenever Possible

Limit unnecessary business travel and hold virtual meetings or calls whenever possible. Face to face interaction is incredibly valuable. However, sometimes it can be easier, less expensive, and better for the environment to meet virtually over Zoom or Skype instead of flying or driving to a meeting.

Walk or ride a bike when possible

For short trips, try walking or riding a bike if possible. The less you drive the less fossil fuels you burn. Electric bikes or scooters can also be beneficial. 

Use public transportation

Whether on your daily commute or for trips out of town, try to use public transportation if available. Although taking a train or a bus requires fossil fuels, it is less than if each person individually drove. 

Use Solar Panels

Whether at home or in your business, using solar panels is a good way to go green and limit your impact on the environment. They are also great for road trips, camping, or even just to charge your phone or laptop! 

You can buy lightweight, foldable solar panels that are easy to set up and use at home or while outdoors. They come with solar generators that store the energy and let you plug in your phone, laptop, refrigerator, or appliances to save money and use clean energy. Our readers love that they don't require any special knowledge or experience with solar. Just plug and play! 

Adjust Your Thermostat

Additionally, adjusting your thermostat 2 degrees up in the summer and 2 degrees down in the winter can save up to 2,000lbs of carbon dioxide per year!

Alternatively, you could use an energy efficient thermostat that conserves energy by itself.

For example, the Nest Thermostat programs itself to save energy. It learns the temperatures you like and creates a schedule that saves electricity and money. 

Implement Shipping and Distribution Policies

If your small business is involved in shipping or distribution, implementing relevant policies can increase efficiency and help the environment.

For example, implementing speed management policies typically reduces fuel consumption. Understand your vehicles’ optimal range and provide clear guidelines for how fast they can go. 

Similarly, implementing engine shutdown polices also has a positive impact. Businesses can balance the trade-offs between an idling truck and a silent engine. This way, drivers aren't left guessing when the best time is for shutting it down.

6. Buy Carbon Offsets to Increase Clean Energy

When it comes to clean energy, most people think of solar panels and wind turbines. However, some business owners don’t have the space and capital necessary to use them. Instead, businesses can purchase carbon offsets to reduce their carbon footprint!

For instance, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation sells wind and solar energy credits to help businesses offset their energy use.

You can buy them for as little as $10 and have peace of mind knowing you are helping the planet. They do the leg work by coordinating the clean energy projects, and you reap the benefits!

There are plenty of other websites and marketplaces where you can buy carbon offsets. Some for as little as $1! Visit our list of easy places to buy carbon offsets online to learn more.

7. Use Eco-Friendly Materials or Vendors

Lastly, you can use eco-friendly materials and sustainability-focused vendors. Some examples are below.

Biodegradable Packaging Materials

Recycled Pens

Recycled Pens

Eco-Friendly Web Providers

GreenGeeks will host your website for as little as $2.95 per month and purchase wind energy credits to offset the energy used. Go 300% green with the click of a button!

CSR Benefits

A robust CSR strategy helps the environment and creates other benefits.

1. Save Money

Implementing eco-friendly CSR initiatives saves money. Using less electricity and water will decrease your monthly bills and relying less on fossil fuels will decrease your operating costs.

Benefits of Car Sharing - Save money, less costs

2. Increase Customer Loyalty

Additionally, using eco-friendly products and practices can attract and retain customers. Studies have shown that 50 percent of consumers rank sustainability as a top five value driver. This number is higher for younger generations like Millennials and Generation Z. 

In our opinion, companies that make sustainability a core value will continue to grow and increase market share, while those that don’t will fall behind.

3. Create Efficiencies

Finally, most eco-friendly solutions create efficiencies. A more efficient operation leads to increased productivity, happier employees, and greater energy savings.

How to Showcase Your CSR Efforts

1. Track Your Progress

Track your emissions and sustainability statistics using the online calculator from CarbonFund.org. Make improvements by implementing small changes to reduce your carbon footprint.

2. Celebrate Your Improvements on Social Media or Your Website

Document the changes your business makes on social media and post the results to celebrate your achievements! Things like reducing the amount of electricity and water used every month, reducing paper waste, or traveling less and calculating the number of emissions saved are all things that consumers will appreciate.

Or you could conduct a more formal campaign by purchasing renewable energy credits and carbon offsets or buy partnering with “One Tree Planted” to plant trees.

The possibilities are endless!

3. Demonstrate Your Commitment to the Environment with Green Signage

Finally, ensure there is visual evidence of your commitment to the environment. For instance, GreenGeeks provides professional badges, so your customers know that you are serious about protecting the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is CSR important?

CSR is important because businesses have a responsibility to limit their impact on the planet. It is in business owner’s best interest to create a robust CSR strategy and market it accordingly.

2. Is creating a CSR strategy expensive?

No, creating a CSR strategy doesn’t have to be expensive. Your business can make small changes that are often free or low-cost. Solutions like relying on natural light and traveling less will save you money in the long run.

3. Will creating a CSR strategy take a long time?

No, creating a CSR strategy can take as little as 20 minutes. Start by reviewing your current practices and energy expenditures and implementing small changes to improve.

4. What is greenwashing and how do I avoid it?

Greenwashing refers to the practice of companies taking steps to make it look like they are helping the environment. However, in reality the practices are miniscule and don’t have a true impact on our planet.

Transparency is the key to avoiding greenwashing. Provide specific information (statistics, pictures, videos, etc.) that clearly show the impact your products and processes have on the environment.

5. What are the benefits of a CSR strategy?

The biggest benefits of a CSR strategy are saving money and attracting new customers.

Using less resources decreases your monthly bills and helps your bottom line. Also, a robust CSR strategy can attract new customers.

Studies have shown that Gen Z’s number one priority when shopping is sustainability. In fact, 73% of them are willing to pay more money for eco-friendly products. However, other generations have become more concerned with the environment as well.

Over 25% of Millennials and Gen Z worldwide say that their buying decisions have been influenced by the impact of certain businesses on the environment.

Businesses that don’t embrace sustainability will ultimately be left behind as the world becomes more and more concerned about climate change and the environment.

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About the Author Staff Writer

Our writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.

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