It’s the three words that all companies hear, yet most find hard to actively respond to: Corporate Social Responsibility.
So, what actually is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and how can you, as a manager and leader, implement initiatives that support the CSR motion within your company?
A quick Google search can easily tell you the dictionary definition of Corporate Social Responsibility; “when corporations have a degree of responsibility not only for the economic consequences of their activities, but also for the social and environmental implications”. However, when you think about it more closely it is so much more than that; it’s a culture embedded in your business.
Organisations such as Perth-based commercial fishing company, Austral Fisheries, have gone to great lengths in their commitment to CSR, becoming the first carbon neutral seafood business in the world – offsetting an estimated 27,422 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Austral Fisheries Chief Executive Officer, David Carter, explained that the company identified the need to reduce and offset its’ carbon emissions to ensure the health of our oceans, which is also fundamental to their business. Complementing their decision to offset carbon dioxide emissions Austral Fisheries had previously achieved and continues to uphold, sustainable and well-managed certification for their four major Australian fisheries including Mackerel Icefish, Patagonian Toothfish and Prawns.
Austral Fisheries provides an inspiring example of how a large well managed organisation can introduce and enact CSR initiatives, without committing significant financial and/ or other resources.
Taking an environmental stance might arguably be one of the easiest (and most cost effective ways) to increase your Corporate Social Responsibility, with easy to implement and generally low cost initiatives available. Below are just a few simple environmentally conscious ideas to get your Company’s CSR inspiration flowing!
- Reduce Single Use Coffee Cups
On average, 1 billion single use coffee cups are used in Australia every year, which cannot be recycled – that’s over 50,000 cups being used every 30 minutes.
If your employees have a favourite local coffee shop, consider providing each of your employees with a reusable cup and approach the coffee shop to ask if discounts are provided for a reusable cup.
- Encourage Public Transport
Cars and light vehicles generate around 10 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions with driving just 15km in your round trip to work each day generating around one tonne of greenhouse gases per year. Catching public transport each day wouldn’t only see a reduction in the total emissions being generated, but it would also save each employee approximately $5500 a year on everyday travel expenses. Consider providing your employees with public transport passes.
- Minimising Printing
On average, it takes one tree to create 4000 pages of paper, as we know this contributes to a decrease in the amount of oxygen in the ecosystem, and an increase in greenhouse gases from the manufacturing and transportation needed to turn the tree into the ream of paper sitting next to your printer. So don’t print that document when there are further changes to be made and check in with clients if they would like a printed version of the report – they may find it easier to file an electronic version.
…and for the larger end of town
- Become carbon neutral certified
Gaining certification for becoming carbon neutral will see you join 46 other like-minded, Australian owned, organisations and help to increase your CSR presence, all while demonstrating a commitment to the environment and helping to make tomorrow greener.
- Utilise solar power
Utilising solar power won’t just help establish a green reputation for your company; it will help you save on overheads and has the potential to generate income for the business if your energy consumption is less than that used in your production.
As a final note… The benefits of your environmental CSR initiatives are unlikely to be seen immediately, however, from little things big things grow. Making a start, no matter how big or small will not only see you commence your CSR impact but will also see flow on benefits such as improving your company reputation, a positive impact upon employee attraction and retention, and potentially a reduction in overhead costs. So really a win-win-win result.
WCA – People & Culture Solutions is proud to support Austral Fisheries.
Contact WCA – People & Culture Solutions if you require any assistance with your Culture, Human Resources and/or Industrial Relations requirements on (08) 9383 3293 or firstname.lastname@example.org