What is CSR and how to make your small business eco-friendly?
Updated: Oct 5
“With great power comes great responsibility” is not just a quote from Spider-Man or so-called the Peter Parker principle. It takes its roots from the French Revolution and has been used as a formulation in politics for centuries. But how is it applied in business? Having a brand puts a lot of responsibility in your hands. You are responsible to your employees, partners, customers, investors, and yourself.
What some retailers forget is their obligation to reduce their environmental input while producing, transporting, or selling their products. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is international self-regulation that encourages businesses to support ethically-oriented practices. In 1960s, activists started a social movement as a response to globalization and neoliberalism that provided companies with unrestricted corporate power. What once was a social proposal has become a business model that all kinds of business use nowadays.
CSR is based on the triple bottom line people, planet and profit, where “planet” refers to replacing old business approaches with good environmental practices. The term was firstly used in 1994 and since then, ecological goals have been at the very heart of the corporate conscience.
As we have already learned, “going green” gets more trust and increases the long-term impact on the profitability of a small business. Here some things you can do to make your business eco-friendly even if you are just starting:
Sign up for paperless billing. Just contact your bank for getting your account statements via email.
Cut down on bottled water use or paper cups. Encourage your employees to bring their mugs from home or distribute reusable bottles yourself.
Only print essentials. Save your documents to the cloud and use digital record-keeping. Stocking hard copies takes a lot of space and increases office supply cost so it's a win-win situation all around!
Start with sustainable packaging. This is going to take an effort but just remember how many options there are now — biodegradable and plant-based plastics, recycled products, polyethylene bags made from recycled waste, etc.
Choose the most fuel-efficient modes of transportation. GO LOCAL! Order products that are locally made rather than choosing goods traveling a long distance. If you deliver products, set a minimum order size to reduce the frequency of deliveries, and use the same carriers where possible. It saves your money and helps to lower carbon footprint.
Educate and encourage your customers. Put sustainability as one of your business objectives and let everyone know that you care! If you are not an online retailer, give a discount to those who bring their reusable cups or bags.
Manage the electricity use in your office. Turn off electronics or enable sleep mode whenever you’re not using your devices. Also, consider switching to green energy suppliers, purchasing a smart thermostat, energy-efficient appliances, and even eco light bulbs. Throw more light with less energy!.
Provide recycling bins all over your office space. You can recycle paper items, reuse ink cartridges by getting them refilled and donate old electronics to proper recycling venues.
Here are just simple suggestions to turn eco-friendly. Green Mo. has a green consultancy service that will help any business learn and go green step by step. Become a sustainable entrepreneur and let save the world together!