Recently I attended a CSR-Accreditation course as I had heard people talking more and more about CSR.
“What is that?”, many people ask.
The resulting conversation goes something like this, “Well, it stands for Corporate Social Responsibility. Yes, and why as a small business owner would that affect me, surely that affects just the large corporations?”
WRONG…….CSR is applicable to ALL businesses no matter how small. Taken seriously and woven into everything a business does, means that everyone is aware of the impact they make no matter how small or how their company operates now and in the future. Essentially everyone works towards a workforce, workplace, community, environment, and their philanthropic efforts, being consciously driven by everything they do – ‘the way they do anything, is the way they do everything’, now and in the future.
For many businesses, it starts with putting a stake in the ground and working towards a state where they are fully socially responsible, and being fully conscious that the start of their CSR journey is the most impactful step.
During Covid-19 and lockdown we have all taken a step back and become more conscious of the environment and the purchases and selections we make on a daily basis. When the world stopped turning when Covid struck, flights halved and road traffic in the UK fell by 70% I am sure there are many more stats, but essentially we now make choices to ensure that the planet survives for us and all the generations to come.
For years, Sir David Attenborough has brought us amazing views of our planet above and below water. He has captured extraordinary scenes & forces of nature, amazing animals, ocean life & volcanoes. They have all shaped and adapted to how their environment has evolved and his footage has taken us to places we will probably never visit in person. All these visual impacts have imprinted in our minds the beauty and wonder of our planet.
So surely we want to save this……..
My CSR interest was sparked when I attended a talk by Richard Collins of CSR-A and he touched on how much of an impact a very small business can have. Following this,I then decided to attend the 6-week CSR-A course to learn even more. This course explored ways that I can ensure that my business reaps the rewards of being sustainable, positioning myself and my business now and in the future and ultimately helping other businesses attain their CSR Accreditation. Following the course completion, I am now a CSR-A Enabler and essentially at this stage that means that I am qualified to discuss this with Clients.
Becoming CSR accredited means that an independent body, the CSR-A has reviewed all aspects of the way your business operates using the four pillars of Environment, Workplace, Community & Philanthropy. You would be amazed to learn how much you are already doing towards these pillars, and the process of obtaining the accreditation means you need to evidence all that you do now and or will be doing, and remember it is an ongoing process.
The CSR Accreditation has many advantages for an SME including gaining customers’ trust as they want to learn more about why and what you are doing in this arena. They also want to work more and more with people who are CSR aligned. Not only that, but employees are looking for their company to be CSR aligned and they will apply only for jobs to companies with this strong ethos. Conversely, employers are looking for employees to be aligned with their values, brand, responsibilities & engagement. Supply chains and tender processes will need CSR evidence to win contracts, so business will be won and lost on CSR status.