Do you need a different way to make your business different? How about creating a more responsible business? Here's how.

Do You Have a Responsible Business?

Dear <<First Name>>, 

CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility – is a phrase that’s been around for some time. Large companies shout about how they send their members of staff to carry out volunteer projects. Others tell us how much money they donate to charity, or how they offset their carbon or plant trees.
But that’s not all that CSR is about. It’s about becoming a more responsible business and looking at how you can use what you do to stand out from the crowd. This issue of Scribbles is about how we’re doing this at Appletree and how we’re helping our clients to do it too.

Best wishes,

01635 578 500


Do You Have a Responsible Business?

At Appletree we’ve recently renewed our membership to a clever programme that helps us become a more responsible business. I was never quite sure what CSR we were doing and what we could tell people about, so taking an assessment was a really useful way to get clear on it.

The assessment gave us scores in 10 different areas – People, Profit, Planet, Management, Marketing, Sales, Service Delivery, HR, Accounts and Legal. While we scored quite well in some areas, overall achieving a Silver award, there are three areas that we need to work on.

1. Planet – taking care of our planet should be a priority for all businesses, not just the environmentalists. Why does it matter? Changing the way you do things like reducing the resources you use, such as power, water and paper, will cut your costs and lower your impact on our planet. And this reduces your carbon footprint, which is good news – and good marketing material.

At Appletree we’re improving our Planet score by encouraging more of our clients to think more about their environmental impact and how to use it in differentiating themselves. At the end of this issue of Scribbles there’s news about how you can get involved, too.

2. Service Delivery – this is about how you transform resources into services or results that create and deliver value to your customers. If you make actual products, it’s about how you produce them.

At Appletree we don’t make anything – we provide a service. So to become a more responsible business we’re going to carry out a Customer Satisfaction Survey, to find out what our clients really think about us and to ask them how we can improve our service to them. The survey starts this week and should be completed by the end of June, when we’ll report back to our clients on the changes we’re going to make for them. I’ll probably write another issue of Scribbles all about the survey and the improvements, too.

3. Legal – the legal aspects of a business are often overlooked until there’s a problem, but which time it’s too late to something about it. You need to make sure that you’re up to date on the legal requirements around your business and put the necessary processes and procedures in place, so that you, your clients and your business are protected.

At Appletree we’re working on our legal score by updating all our client contracts and Ts&Cs, to make sure our clients know exactly what service they’re getting from us. It will give them better peace of mind as everything will be clearly agreed.

These are the three main areas we’re working on, and there are others. Throughout the year I’ll tell you what else we’re doing, through Scribbles and our blog.


More Ideas to Help You Become More Responsible
Here are some more articles to help you do just that.

Do you know what your customers really think of you? This blog is about how we’re carrying out our Customer Survey.

How do you make your business stand out from the crowd? How to use CSR to do this.

CSR – PR for your business? How to use CSR to promote your business.


How Can You Create a Responsible Business?

Simple – by joining the 3P CSR programme that is helping Appletree to become more responsible.

You start by taking the assessment – a simple online questionnaire – which gives you a great report you can use, to start looking at the areas that need improvement. You get help with putting together your CSR action plan, to help you make those improvements.

You’ll also get an email newsletter every month, which helps you focus on a particular aspect of developing a responsible business. Each month you get a simple exercise you can carry out, which you can then tell the world about!

Membership to the 3P CSR programme usually costs £300 +VAT per year, but we’ve arranged a special deal for our contacts. If you sign up through us, it will only cost you £270 +VAT. If you’d like to take part and start building a responsible business, click here to email me or call me on 01635 578 500.

There’s more information on the programme and lots of tips to get you started at