Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), much like it sounds, is a company’s responsibility to its community – both locally and globally. For initiatives concerning sustainability, there is a dedicated branch titled Environmental CSR. Its mission is to reduce any damaging effects on the environment from your business’s processes.
As a small business, you may find that your reach is far too small for a great impact, however, that could not be further from the truth. If anything, grabbing inspiration from larger corporations and turning them into smaller, local initiatives can make a big difference in your community – especially concerning sustainability. The best and easiest way to reduce your environmental impact is to make the transition to alternative energy. However, if you have already made positive strides in this area and wish to do more, here are some CSR missions implemented by large companies that have inspired many.
IKEA has focused much of its philanthropic efforts to support communities in crisis. For instance, they build schools, donate toys and help facilitate access to clean drinking water. More recently, the IKEA Foundation donated $23 million to bring clean electricity to about one million people in India and East Africa.
Most communities in the U.S. do have clean tap water, but not all of them. This initiative can be very impactful, locally, in communities where access to purified water is skim. As a business, you can donate water filters to more impoverished communities lacking both means and access. In addition, your business can host beautification days where your employees clean up parks and lakes to ensure further waste does not make it into the groundwater.
Starbucks began an initiative to provide one million coffee trees to farmers in a partnership with the Conservation International’s Sustainable Coffee Challenge.
Although planting a million trees is a massive initiative, planting 50 to 100 trees in your community is absolutely doable. By recruiting employees and other locals, your business can sponsor and host a tree-planting project on a sunny Saturday afternoon at a neglected park or community garden.
Adidas focuses their efforts on marine life and doing what they can to educate the public on the disastrous effects of plastic pollution. The company donated $1 million to the Parley Ocean Plastic Program, as it aligns with their initiative.
This initiative definitely sounds simpler but is most certainly not. Educating a community very set in their ways can prove to be highly difficult. As a local business, you can start by transitioning from plastic – be it bottles or bags, and have recycling bins on location. Taking it one step further, you can partner with your local government to provide recycling bins in largely populated public areas.
If you have a specific passion – trees, clean air, clean water or alternative energy, you can take small steps that can make a true impact. The key is to start somewhere, no matter how daunting it may feel. If every business focused on their communities, the global impact would be inevitable!
As you initiate these projects and noble objectives, consider how this may also set you apart from competitors in the eyes of consumers. There is value in being a leader in sustainability.
When in doubt, contact SuperGreen Solutions to take these simple steps to a become a greener, better company.