Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is something we hear more and more about in business. Instead of keeping our heads down and just working hard for our own good, CSR is about looking into the wider community and environment. We look at the impact we have and see where else we can all help.
This issue of Scribbles brings you an update on what we've been doing and will give you some ideas for your business.
Do you have a responsible business? Click here to answer this question on LinkedIn.
Do You Have a Responsible Business?
In 2010 we published our first CSR Report at Appletree, to set goals on what more we could do and to share our results with you. Click here to read our report – it's on our website. I updated our progress in a blog post in January (click here to read it) and since then we've completed one more task on our list – we had double glazing fitted to the office windows! They had an almost instant effect and as well as keeping us warmer, will definitely help reduce our heating bill and oil consumption.
So then we started looking at what to put into a more up to date CSR report. We weren't sure what to do, so during the summer I met up with Jo Sandford from Creating Synergy – a CSR consultant who helped us with the first report. On Jo's advice, we've decided not to publish another report, but instead to up our game. There's a new standard called the Responsible Business Standard and we're going to go for it. There are three levels – bronze, silver and gold – and we're aiming as high as we can! We started by completing a survey run by the Organisation for Responsible Business to find out our starting point. You can do the survey at www.ORBuk.org.uk. Jo and I then went through the results to see what we need to work on. As Jo is an assessor for the standard, she's given me some great advice on what we need to do to achieve the award.
What do we need to do? Here are a few of the activities we'll be carrying out this year, before Jo comes to assess us:
- Write an environmental policy for Appletree
- Document our waste and recycling policy, so that new recruits know what to do
- Write to our suppliers telling them that we're going for the standard. We can't always buy ‘green' (although we often buy local) but we can spread the word about it
- Carry out a survey of our clients to get feedback from them and see where we can make improvements
- Write up our complaints procedure and tell our clients about it.
So not much, then! I'll let you know how we get on with this lot and then the level of standard we get, once we're finally assessed.
How much of this could you do in your business, to make it a more responsible business? What else could you do, to look after your staff and clients, and to work more closely with your suppliers?