Given pressure from consumers, more companies than ever before are looking for ways to make themselves more socially responsible. They know that if they want to succeed in the modern marketplace, they have to assuage the environmental and ethical concerns of their audience.
But how, exactly, are you supposed to do this? Well, it’s considerably simpler than you might think. Here’s how to approach it:
Adopt a Code of Ethics
The first step is to adopt a code of ethics. This way, everyone in your organisation knows how to conduct themselves when representing the brand. Make it clear to middle management that above-board behaviour is paramount and you won’t accept anything that might be deemed illegal.
Protect your community from externalities
The next step is to protect your community from what economists call “externalities.” These are unwanted byproducts of doing business, such as noise and pollution, that affect other people.
If your company emits dangerous gases or waste products into the environment, publicly post on how you mitigate the threat. For example, you could attach scrubbers to chimneys to prevent dangerous particles from entering the atmosphere.
If noise is an issue, you could use damping panels in your interiors. Supawood specialises in acoustic lining systems, for instance, that blend with a building’s architectural properties.
At the same time, though, you need to be careful not to greenwash your business: the practice of making your company appear more sustainable than it is. Remember, you don’t have to be the most eco-friendly business in the world, you just have to show customers that you are moving in that direction.
Promote workplace Health and Safety
Furthermore, you will need to promote workplace health and safety and build effective systems that will protect your employees from harm. Protecting people is a good strategy in its own right, but it is also critical for the long-term survival of your business. When prospective workers find out that you take employee safety seriously, they are significantly more likely to want to work for you. What’s more, customers appreciate it, too. If they know that you take care of your workers, they are less likely to go to other brands.
Donate to good causes, but be smart about it
Another way of showing corporate social responsibility is to donate to good causes. This way, you can prove to cynical customers that more than profits drive your activities.
Avoid donating to the first charity that crosses your mind. Instead, think about what would make most sense to customers. For instance, if you run a furniture company, then you might want to work alongside charities that preserve forests.
Get Your Suppliers To Join In
Lastly, try to get your suppliers to join in with your social responsibility initiatives. If you can get them onboard, then you will have a much wider impact on the rest of society.
For example, you could screen suppliers to ensure that they adopt fair pricing policies. You could also check their green credentials and threaten to go elsewhere if they don’t improve them.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.