It used to be that business scoffed at the notion of social responsibility, thinking that is was the invention of Socialists. They continued to produce products and use resources, regardless of the effects on the environment and on social relationships.
Today, things are vastly different.
Businesses have realized that they need look outward and that they have a responsibility to make the world a better place. It can be compared to a small child, who seeks only its own growth – only now it is grown, and beginning to care about family, community, country, and the world.
Something has brought about this change of heart across businesses and industries. Largely, the customer has played a major part in the turnaround.
An increasing number of buyers are using their wallets to force companies rethink their part in social issues. They shop at socially responsible companies, often ignoring irresponsible ones.
Below are a few tips that can help you make your small business more proactive towards the society it operates in.
Integrate Environment Friendly Business Practices
Recycle paper that you use in the office, and purchase only paper that has been recycled. Encourage digital information sharing, which will save paper. Buy recycled stationery or other supplies.
Encourage your employees to carpool. If possible, provide company transportation for your employees to commute to office – this will save precious fuel.
Encourage Ground Shipments
Companies can transport their goods by truck and the railways, rather than using air shipments. This will save huge amounts of fuel.
Studies show that aircraft emissions take place at altitudes that cause greater harm to the ozone layer than emissions from ground shipments.
Purchase Paper Bags or Reusable Cotton Bags
Plastic bags are harmful to the environment, since they are not biodegradable. Encourage your staff to use paper or cotton bags – preferably ones that have been made from recycled materials.
Many businesses operate in an environment where they have to use paper or plastic bags. For example, if you are running a retail chain or store, then replace plastic delivery bags with paper bags.
Cotton cloth bags work even better, as they are reusable as well as durable.
Humanize HR Practices
Give your employees travel allowance benefits so that they can spend quality time with their families.
This will promote a greater work-life balance. Arrange regular health days; have an outside company come in and do blood pressure or diabetes screenings.
Promote continuing education and training to enhance your employees’ skills. These activities will promote employee loyalty and commitment to your company, leading to lower employee turnover and saving you a good deal of money.
Promote Social Causes
Support charitable organizations. For example, you can donate a couple percent of your business’ total sales to a different nonprofit organization each month
Go beyond sponsoring events and be active in the community. Encourage your employees to get involved with at least one charitable organization. Your business can help to improve the environment by organizing tree-planting events.
Implementing some of these measures will help your small business to become socially responsible. It is a long process and involves lots of small steps.
The results are worthwhile – and it’s the right thing to do.