Business is typically defined as an entity whose sole purpose is to provide goods or services to maximize their profit, no more and no less. And, while this definition still rings true in the modern-day, most contemporary businesses have gone beyond this traditional definition and assumed their roles as social agents in a strategic position to make a positive change.
We can’t deny that investing in research & development towards products and services that will impact the entire world is beyond the scope of your small business. The financial capability and infrastructure just won’t allow it to happen. However, we firmly believe that even local businesses can embrace their corporate social responsibility and contribute in their own ways.
A Positive Impact
Let’s face it, while there are aspects of the world that are changing for the better and making progress for a bright future; there are facets that have continued to observe degradation and worsening. Among these include climate change and the environmental impact of business, two things that we can’t afford to wait on because we risk being too late. So, it’s time we put into action a paradigm shift wherein more companies integrate social responsibility into their primary business model, starting with the local businesses.
#1 Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility
As we mentioned a while ago, the ongoing adverse effects of business operations on the environment continue to echo in the current day. Despite the call to action for change, some companies have remained stubborn in offsetting their carbon footprint. As local businesses, we must do our part in striving for sustainability and adhering to our environmental responsibility. That’s because even the smallest of efforts will accumulate and prove significant over time.
- Green Operations: There are many ways a local business can adopt green operations, and the best example would be switching its operations to the cloud. We know it may sound like a no-brainer, but some local enterprises haven’t made the switch because they never really had to, so let this be the sign. You can also opt to use recyclable office materials and offer a recycling program for older electronics. The goal is to generate close to zero-waste and extend the useful life of all equipment.
- Invest in Green Energy: For electricity-intensive operations, a great way to offset both your utilities expenses and conserve natural resources is by investing in green energy. And, by simply installing solar panels and other forms of renewable energy, you could reap the benefits of energy security and even financial incentives like tax credits. In the long-term, there’s also the potential of running entirely on solar power, which will pay you back a hundredfold in the future.
- Pursue Sustainable Local Partnerships: Remember, you aren’t the only local business in your area concerned with sustainability and their environmental responsibility. So, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your plans, why not pursue sustainable local partnerships? From affordable and less wasteful procurement of raw materials to strategic partnership plans, the sky’s the limit with cooperation.
#2 Engage With Local Community Development
A local business’s CSR isn’t only concerned with the environmental aspect but also the social part of their responsibility. And we can’t come full-circle without engaging with local community development and projects. Starting up a business and running your operations already does plenty for the community’s economic health, but actively taking part in projects further improves the overall community’s well-being and reinforces relationships.
- Participate in Local Projects: Whether it’s offering relief after a disaster or any form of projects that might need extra elbow grease or financial investment, it never hurts to promote volunteerism in your organizational structure. It creates a healthy and sustainable culture that employees will enjoy and strengthen the bond between business and community.
- Hire Local Talent: Another excellent way of promoting the community’s well-being and sustainability is by hiring local talent. There’s nothing better than providing a fair livelihood for the community, and it’s also a form of giving back. It raises the overall economic health of the area, helps you network better, and encourages entrepreneurship.
#3 Give Back To The Community
Last but not least, we can’t forget to mention directly giving back to the community. While most of the methods above deal with indirect effects, donating to charity and exploring outreach programs are still some of the best ways to stay true to your corporate social responsibility.
Plus, you will experience the benefits come back to you a hundredfold through tax savings, increased employee morale, and effective marketing for your brand. So, it’s a win-win scenario for both your local business and the community.
Don’t Settle For Less.
Overall, the path forward for the business landscape begins with addressing our corporate social responsibilities, and we must all begin by reaching out and lending our hand to those we can effectively help. So, don’t settle for less and stay stuck in the past. Let us move forward to a future that’s inclusive and values social awareness.