Does your business have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy? If not, now is the time to put those crucial policies in place, particularly in relation to the wellbeing of employees and protection of the environment.
A CSR strategy is your company’s way of demonstrating to stakeholders, from customers and employees to investors and the wider public, that you are responsible and accountable for your actions. You are not an isolated economic entity – your business activities affect those around you, so you need to have policies in place to ensure minimal or positive impact.
CSR and the environment
A key part of any CSR strategy is to minimise your company’s impact on the environment. This has multiple benefits. Firstly, it can help your business to save money on energy and waste management. It can also do wonders for your company’s corporate image as a responsible and eco-conscious part of the local community. Lastly and perhaps most crucially, it minimises your impact on the planet and reduces your carbon footprint.
If you are keen to incorporate environmental responsibility into your CSR strategy, here are some key goals to aim at:
The first step is to identify the different waste streams within your business. For example, office paper waste or waste from industrial processes. How can these waste streams be reduced? Set a realistic waste reduction target and put measures in place to achieve it.
As well as reducing waste, is there any way you could be disposing of it more responsibly? Switching to a recyclable alternative for certain materials or finding a greener waste management could both be viable solutions.
Changing office culture
Implement a new printing policy, where employees only print when necessary, along with other changes such as switching equipment off when not in use. You can also try recycling challenges and other behavioural change schemes within the office.
Could more meetings take place virtually or over the phone, rather than in person? This could reduce your company’s carbon footprint in relation to travel, as could the implementation of a new cycle or walk to work scheme among employees.
These include installing insulation, energy-saving or motion-activated lighting, double glazing and many other measures – all of which are relatively easy to do but will pay for themselves over time.
Making your products greener
As well as making changes to the way your business operates, you can also help your customers to make more responsible choices. For example, by selling products in recyclable or reduced packaging.
How employees can help you to achieve your goals
The key to success in achieving your goals, environmental or otherwise, is to get your employees involved in making change happen. For example, you can use corporate reward schemes to motivate employees to recycle more, to cycle to work or to reward other positive behavioural changes. Once a key goal is achieved, the employee or team is rewarded. This motivates them to make your company’s objectives part of their personal goals.