With more and more companies worried about their impact on the world, there’s a drive towards becoming more socially responsible. Entrepreneurs recognize that if things are ever going to get better, building lasting relationships with the community and ecosystem is vital.
Unfortunately, because this is a novel way of doing business, particularly for the for-profit sector, not all business leaders are up to speed on the concept. They like the idea, but they’re not so sure how to make it work in practice.
In this post, we show that becoming a socially responsible business is actually surprisingly easy. Just following these steps:
Put A Social Mission In Place
Most corporations engage in missions that reflect the needs of their shareholders. But that’s not always necessarily the best approach. In fact, in the modern world, there are plenty of examples of companies doing well following social missions instead.
Take private firm, SpaceX, for instance. While it has commercial interests, its primary mission, to get to Mars, is humanitarian.
Try to avoid falling into the trap of making a vague social mission statement or just paying lip service to it. Go beyond the “do good things” mantra and actually commit to something that you want to achieve.
Collaborate With Organizations Who Understand The Issue
If there’s an issue that requires addressing in the world, you can bet that there’s already an organization out there trying to solve it, usually a non-profit. Consulting with them can be a tremendous bonus. They can show you all the pitfalls and problems they’ve had trying to bring their vision to fruition. And they can introduce you to similar issues that you might face.
Your best bet here is to collaborate with suitable partners. Look for organizations that can help with fundraising or donations. If necessary, simply sponsor their efforts or get your customers to send them money every time they buy one of your products.
Is your business sustainable? That’s a hard question and often requires extensive investigation. It’s not always clear whether companies are sustainable or not.
There’s a widespread belief that capitalist economies are spurring environmental destruction. However, that’s by no means guaranteed. In fact, the evidence is that when societies become wealthier, they begin to value the environment more, which is why it is now top-of-mind for most people. All their basic needs are met, so nature takes on renewed importance.
There are some rules of thumb that you can use to become more sustainable. These include:
- Going digital and avoiding the use of paper
- Using energy-efficient policies
- Encouraging carpooling
- Avoiding unsustainable industry practices, such as dumping toxic waste in rivers
- Using eco-friendly plumbing and lighting
Preserve Community History
Modern companies are slowly turning the world into a cookie-cutter society. Everywhere looks basically the same and cities no longer have their own character. It’s what historians have called “the end of history.”
But, as a company, you don’t have to engage in this dismal commodification of human existence. Instead, you can preserve the unique culture and historical references of your local area.
Andrew Long and Associates, for instance, talk about the importance of maintaining cultural heritage sites. Businesses, they point out, have an active role in this process, particularly because they are often the ones that make archaeological discoveries.
Far from seeing this as a cost, companies ought to view it as a brand-building opportunity. Protecting ancient remains shows prospective consumers that the firm is serious about protecting the environment and history.
Use Ethical Labor Practices
Forcing people to work long hours for weeks on end without a break isn’t ethical. What’s more, it actually harms productivity long-term. People work at their best when they are fresh, not when they are exhausted.
Here are some ethical labor practices you should employ, starting today:
- Create a safe and effective working environment
- Permit more growth opportunities in your firm
- Offer people fair and just compensation for the work they do
- Show your appreciation for their work and the value they contribute
- Treat everyone in your organization with respect
Remember, the better your company treats its workers, the more other firms will be forced to do the same. By employing good labor relations, you could improve the lives of workers throughout your local area.
Set Up An In-House Social Responsibility Team
Lastly, you might want to set up an in-house social responsibility team. These people could be responsible for helping struggling employees, launching corporate sustainability strategies, and working with resources you allocate better.Published in