With the ever-growing public awareness of their impact on the environment, the labour market, societies and small businesses around the world, more and more companies are being scrutinised about their attitude toward the way they operate. In fact, your company’s ethical stance is increasingly important, with customers wanting to see proof that your company takes care of its staff, the local community, and the environment.

Why is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) so important?

There are some compelling business reasons for your company to adopt a CSR policy. According to the UK Small Business Consortium: “88% of consumers said they were more likely to buy from a company that supports and engages in activities to improve society.”

Sharing and promoting your CSR policy will gain you more clients and customers and also a lot of positive PR. Use social media to let people know what you’re up to and to post news of staff who take part in fundraising activities. If you’re doing something special that is benefiting the community (e.g. corporate sponsorship, fundraising, providing work experience for vulnerable members of society), send a press release to your local newspaper, business magazines and organisations your company is a member of (e.g. the local Chamber of Commerce) in the hope of getting editorial coverage.

And if you are thinking of entering business awards, being able to show evidence of a strong CSR policy can really help your submission – indeed, it could mean the difference between being a finalist and being a winner.

CSR is as important on a global basis as it is in first world countries. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) actively supports SMEs in developing countries with environmentally and socially responsible entrepreneurship. “Ensuring that CSR supports, and does not undermine, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries is crucial to meeting the goal of improving the impact of business on society.”

Hoddesdon companies and their CSR policies

In Hoddesdon, Pindar Road is a hugely important commercial area in terms of industry and business. Out of interest, we looked at the websites of companies based on Pindar Road to see how they promote their CSR policies.

Our findings reveal that few companies publicise their CSR policies on their websites, but this isn’t to say that they are not doing anything in this area – indeed they are; references are made to staff taking part in events to raise money for charities on social media – they just need to make more of it.

To encourage you to think about highlighting elements of CSR your company excels at, here are examples of Pindar Road companies who talk about aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility on their websites.

Enterprise Document Solutions UK

One of the main selling points for a document management company like e-docs UK is that it works towards a paperless office, and this is going to have an obvious environmental impact. However, e-docs has gone further, with an active environmental

policy to lessen its own environmental impact, incorporating objectives and targets for the future, promoting environmental awareness, ensuring its operations are socially responsible, recycling wherever possible and using reputable waste carriers.

Affvs UK Limited

Affvs UK salvages vehicles that have been written off by insurance companies. It has turned a business requirement to be compliant with Environmental Agency guidelines into a CSR promotional tool. It provides information about the salvage process and guidance about buying used car parts which creates a good impression of a trustworthy company that cares about the customer.

In addition, it donates 10% of vehicle scrap value to Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust.

DW Windsor

DW Windsor is a designer and manufacturer of lighting solutions. This company’s main angle is that it supports British industry by sourcing components and raw materials from UK companies and, in doing so, supports the employment and skills of the country’s workforce. They are a member of the ‘Made in Britain’ campaign.

In addition, the company has also been a sponsor of Isabel Hospice’s Bubble Rush this summer, news of which was covered on its social media channels.

MISL

Three years ago, document management company MISL gained publicity for a recruitment drive that resulted in the employment and training of 20 previously unemployed new members of staff. Sadly there have been no updates about how the 20 have progressed as this could have provided extra publicity for the company.

Ambition Broxbourne Business Centre

The Ambition Broxbourne Business Centre is part of a nationwide chain run by Basepoint Business Centres. The Centre’s success as a business in its own right relies on the success of the start-ups and small businesses that rent office space. The company therefore provides free business support and mentoring for its members, and many Basepoint centres have regular networking meetings. Charity is at the heart of Basepoint’s CSR. The company is owned by The Act Foundation, a grant-funding charity, with all the profits going to people in need. Each centre also supports a local charity with fundraising activities, though there is no mention of Broxbourne’s chosen charity on the Basepoint website.

National Windscreens

Another company that is part of a nationwide group which understands the importance of informing consumers about its CSR policy. National Windscreens takes its environmental policy seriously, recycling 100% of its glass. And like many large companies, it also adheres to the Modern Slavery Act which means a commitment “to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking violations in our supply chains or in any part of our business”.

Our own CSR policy

Here at HB Accountants, we take our own responsibilities seriously. We play an active role in the local community, with fundraising events for local charities and networking events to support other local businesses.

Our staff regularly take part in fundraising activities for the official HB charity, which this year is Teens Unite.

We are also a finalist in the Supporting Young People category at the forthcoming Hertfordshire Business Awards.

If you would like to talk to us about how we can help your business, contact us for more details. We would also be very happy to talk about all our CSR policies and activities at the same time!