Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR for short means carrying out business activities in an ethical manner. It takes into account the social, economic and environmental impact of the business and also considers human rights. It’s something all facilities managers should care about and try to work towards, but how does it affect you?
With a greater emphasis on climate change and ethical business practices, consumers want to know more about how the companies they use and purchase products from are doing their bit for the world around them.
Delivering sustainable performance
In a CSR compliant company, facility managers are asked to consider all aspects of CSR and create regular reports on its performance. For all the different areas of the business that they are responsible for, they need to show their overall ethical considerations along with their financial ones. Social and environmental considerations should be woven into every strategic business decision made within the company, from top to bottom.
Similar to the financial side of things, there are three main areas that should be reviewed when considering CSR: the inputs (materials and energy that your business uses), the operations (the building itself and transport, for example) and the outputs (thinking about the end products, waste and pollution). There are clearly multiple areas within the business that need CSR focus in order for the company to be a truly wholesome brand.
How do you manage transport in your business? By making changes to transport options within your company, you can lessen your carbon footprint on the environment. Road transport accounts for 22% of total UK emissions of carbon dioxide, so by offering alternatives such as shared transportation, you can help reduce emissions and contribute to the fight against climate change.
If you provide company cars for your employees, perhaps you should ensure they are greener and more energy-efficient. Maybe switching to electric vehicles for a more environmentally friendly alternative could be an option. However, this would mean investing in charging points and ensuring employees have the right facilities at home, which may cost you more money in the long run.
A more cost-friendly option would be to encourage the use of public transport or offering corporate commuter services. Instead of having employees driving to work individually and the business having to invest in maintaining parking areas, you can give employees an alternative. You can arrange commuter coaches with Zeelo and give your staff the opportunity to book seats on a comfortable, direct coach that takes them straight to your workplace. By having only one vehicle on the road versus more than thirty, you can take advantage of massive savings of time, money, space and polluting emissions.
Have a think about the amount of waste your company produces and what type of waste it is. Cutting down on the waste that you send to landfill is one big change you can make for the environment and for society. This can be as easy as installing the correct recycling bins to encourage recycling more of your waste as a business. Having all your staff recycle and make sure the bigger parts of your business are using the right recycling methods should be a no-brainer. As a facilities manager, it is your responsibility to find the right waste management company to dispose of waste in the most ethical, but also an economic way.
By streamlining your waste management, recycling more and ethically disposing of harmful waste, you are doing your bit for the environment. Doing this will reduce your carbon footprint and gas emissions and will allow fewer goods to be produced. Being able to show your customers your efforts will give them confidence and trust in your business.
Using sustainable materials
In order to improve your recycling efforts, you will need to ensure you are using materials that can actually be recycled. Printer paper, ink cartridges, water coolers and using paper cups instead of plastic are all small things that can be recycled easily and do not take much effort to buy. This is the same for computing and technology too.
Using recycled materials at the office is also a great way to contribute – from printer paper to toilet roll and cardboard boxes, you can order almost anything eco-friendly online and in bulk these days. And think big too: furniture, fixtures and fitting can be sourced sustainably too. Depending on the size of your business, items can be upcycled or restored rather than purchased brand new. Instil a repair and reuse culture in your company and make your employees feel like they are a part of the change to help to reduce your overall impact on the environment.
Why is Corporate Social Responsibility important?
Corporate Social Responsibility can build trust with customers, employees and stakeholders of your company, showing them all that you care about your socio-environmental impact. But it can also save you money as a business by reducing wasted energy and being more sustainable with your operations. It’s about managing your business processes to ensure an overall positive impact on society, meaning you can run your company with minimal impact on both the environment and the community around you. In turn, you will promote trust and confidence in your business ethic and build a loyal following of customers and employees.
How will you make CSR-related changes?
There are definitely a few areas to look at when reviewing corporate social responsibility across elements of your business. From improving your recycling efforts to using sustainable products, there are plenty of considerations for a facilities manager to make and challenge. Are you now reviewing your transport options in your workplace? Why not speak to Zeelo to see how you can improve your CSR strategy by taking advantage of commuter and business transport solutions. Get in touch today and request a demo to learn more.