Published on March 19th, 2014 | by Alison Young0
It’s really not Easy Being Green
Alium Partners Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability champion Alison Young draws on a variety of sources and shares her thoughts on the positive effects that a long term, 360-degree CSR policy can have on a business. Discover her findings below.
If CSR and sustainability are your main job focus, then sometimes it can be a struggle for your “green work” to be as effective as you want it to be – especially amongst all the other “business priorities”. Indeed, an article I read recently reminded me just how challenging some businesses can find it to be environmentally minded. With the imaginative title It’s Not Easy Being Green - I would agree.
Making Corporate Social Responsibility Work
In order for CSR to work well, you need to be able to assess all aspects of the business: from how sustainable it is, to recycling food waste from employees, to a paperless office, to energy and to the supply chain and logistics – the list is endless… but the financial return for correct implementation are clear.
The study referenced in the article shows that CSR is something that is now defined as an outlook which takes the future generations into account, but also makes organisations manage what they term ‘the triple bottom line’: economic, social and environmental factors. The study showed that there were no quick wins with implementing a viable corporate social responsibility programme and whilst there are small things to do in the short term: recycling, switching to Green energy companies, becoming a paperless office etc., performance seemed to improve almost two years after a firm implemented both the environmental and social supply chain management. As the report says: “Companies must take a patient, holistic approach that includes both environmental and social endeavours.”
As a relatively small interim management business here in the City, I can see the benefit of becoming a more sustainable and green business, not just for the good of our wider community, but for business performance overall. As a result we are looking at partnerships with other organisations to pool knowledge such as Heart of the City, and improve our corporate social responsibility policies to make ourselves not only a more sustainable business, but also in order to work with a wider range of clients – a double impact which many companies miss out on.
As the article states, those companies who are more sustainable and green-minded do better financially, and the more work we are tendering for, the more we see this. Corporate social responsibility should be all encompassing and not just focus on one area. The benefits, in the long term, are clear for all to see.
What do you think are the benefits of CSR in business today? Have you seen our recent blog posts on business sustainability? How well does your business implement CSR? Please share your thoughts with us and kick-start the discussion.
Photo Credit: Easy Company