Business Owner Social Responsibility

Date: 17/11/20  |  Author: Lisa Gilham
Social Responsibility 0 Comments

Social responsibility is more important than ever. But what does this mean? We're all responsible for our actions when it comes to finding a balance between economic growth and the welfare of society and the environment.

These days, social responsibility is crucial. Let’s face it, we’ve all seen the posts about climate change - this has lately been apparent because of lockdowns - the world was healing, the skies and rivers were becoming clearer and there were less cars on the road. We’re all doomed if we go back to our old ways. 

Consumers are moving over to more sustainable retailers (these businesses may recycle, use less or no plastic packaging, go paper free, use less water, and are conscious about what materials and processes they use). If small businesses don't act on this initiative then they’ll fall behind and lose business because trends are changing. Very soon, fast fashion will be slowing down because we want to create less waste, and the likes of Tala (ethical, sustainable fitness wear) or Pangaia will rise in popularity.

Why? Because of David Attenborough. He’s the environmental hero sent from the gods that we needed. And we don't want to upset him.

Climate change, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (mainly carbon dioxide). Earth heats, ice caps melt, blah blah blah. Other human activities, such as agriculture and deforestation also contribute to such devastation. It’s also a fact that we come into contact with new species during deforestation meaning that we come into contact with new viruses which can be passed on through humans. Overall, deforestation is awful - not only does it destroy habits and cause pandemics but it also means that combating climate change is near impossible. A massive cause for ‘needing’ open land is for agriculture such as cow farming when we could use the grain that we feed to them to feed our nation. Dairy and beef farms are so polluting, as they also produce methane which is a toxic gas.

Business owners need to change their ways to create a better future for the environment and the welfare of society.

Keep everyone happy

To win and gain clients, staff, and suppliers, then you must treat them with respect. Give your clients a great product, offer them unlimited support, share their content, share stuff with them that could be of help, write blogs which can aid any business owner when it comes to marketing. Allow your staff freedom and motivate them with incentives - whether that’s financial or not - such as paid bonuses for outstanding work or recognition (employee of the month schemes). To keep your suppliers happy, pay them on time so that they don't face difficulties or have to chase you. You could partner with them and advertise their services - which could lead to a discount.

Charity:

Charity work is becoming more and more important. Allow your staff to have a day (or multiple days) off a year or so, to work for a charity - this could be volunteering at an animal shelter or volunteering their time for a charity event such as a fun run. When it comes to fundraising events, your business could hold your own (like a raffle or bake sale) or volunteer for them. 

Why not start up a Funding page for a charitable/personal cause, donate to charities such as Plastic Oceans UK - they raise awareness on the impacts of ocean plastic pollution as well as find tools/resources to take action and protect our ocean or have a collection box.

Volunteering ideas:

  • Animal shelter
  • Charity shop
  • Fundraising events
  • Take care of a ‘not for profits’ or charities’ -
  • Social media
  • Photography
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Deliveries

Environment:

Environmentally friendly companies are becoming more popular because of a shift in consumer trends. Zero waste, vegan businesses such as The Hampshire Refillery are skyrocketing in popularity. You simply give them your empty bottles and they fill them for you - using large barrels from specially selected suppliers who share the same mission and values. They even have loo roll which has plastic free packaging. https://www.thehampshirerefillery.co.uk/ 

Sustainable/recycled materials should be used if physical goods are produced e.g. hair ties used as clothing tags rather than plastic, single use ones. Use biodegradable or compostable tags or those like that at Tala - you can plant the tags and labels and they grow into a plant. https://www.wearetala.com/  

Support sustainable businesses.

Why not plant a wall of flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables etc outside of the office to combat emissions to offset carbon dioxide emissions.

Employers could implement a cycle/walk to work scheme to be kinder to the environment and reduce traffic congestion.

Be paper free (when you can be) - use the likes of receipt bank, ask for emailed receipts etc and make notes on Word or a Google Doc.

Offer some more plant based meals in the office - caters for everyone and is better for the planet or supports your local butchers who do it ‘humanely’ if you want chicken etc. Try to stick away from beef or lamb etc as it is not environmentally friendly - a lot of deforestation occurs to free up space for cattle which leads to climate change, they produce more methane than my dad does too. Cattle and other ruminants contribute 37 percent of the methane emissions resulting from human activity.

Wellbeing of staff

Ensure the wellbeing of your staff and they’ll repay you. Why not invest in Private medical, contribute to their glasses, provide them with a free gym membership, offer bonuses for outstanding work or winning clients, flexible working hours and unlimited holiday.

  • Grow own veg in office - allow visitors to grab their own
  • Get a pop up greenhouse out the back
  • Offer healthy snacks for free
  • Get togethers - eg work doo at xmas
  • Birthdays celebrated 
  • Bring pets to work?
  • Fun stuff eg basketball hoop, ps4, chill zones in the office? - beanbags, fairy lights

Make My Money Matter, Pension

Make My Money Matter is a people-powered campaign fighting for a world where we all know where our pension money goes, and where we can demand it’s invested to build a better future.

There’s £3 trillion in UK pensions. This money is owned by all of us, and is invested to build our savings for the future. But from fossil fuels to tobacco, exploitation to extraction, these investments are often contradicting our values. That’s why we’re calling for our money to be invested in building a future we can be proud of, economies we can rely on, and an environment we can thrive in.”

Let’s all come together and make a difference. Even by making simple changes, we can do better.

Lots of love from the Dream Team at Diverso ♥

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