You there, at the back. Yes, you. Come up here to the front and write 100 lines on incorporating sustainability and CSR into your business strategy.
Have you been naughty and not thought much about how to incorporate sustainability and CSR into your business strategy? Not done your homework on the benefits? Or is it that you just don’t know where to start?
Don’t worry, you’re in good company – the Class of 2017 is full of businesses just like yours.
But fear not, we’re here to teach you the basics!
Firstly, why should you?
This is easy – to access the 6 growth-promoting benefits of sustainability and CSR done right:
A more engaged and productive workforce
Lower overall risk
There is absolutely no doubt about it: businesses that do good also do well.
How to get started
This really depends on how old, how established and how big your business is.
If you’re a start-up or an early years business (under three years old) then it should be a lot easier for you because your systems and culture will still be in their infancy and so you can shape and mould them around sustainability and CSR with a lot less hassle. The best thing you could do is to figure out your purpose beyond profit and then ensure that your financial goals and targets are all aligned around achieving that purpose. As your systems and procedures mature, make sure that they all reflect your purpose because they then set the scene for ensuring that the culture that emerges will be naturally geared towards achieving your business goals and your purpose. Be sure to communicate internally and externally all the time, make a point of telling colleagues and customers all about the things you’re doing to improve your sustainability and CSR performance.
Older businesses, with more mature systems and a more established culture, can find it more difficult. If that’s your business, then the starting point for you is to understand your current situation, identify strengths and weaknesses, and build an action plan for change and improvement. Finding and understanding your purpose could take a bit more effort too, because there may never really have been much consideration of this when the business was formed. All of this is likely to require the rewriting and retraining of policies and procedures, and a lot more effort engaging with existing colleagues and employees whose attitudes and behaviours are going to be a bit more hardwired, making cultural change take longer. But you should also be sure to communicate well and regularly, both inside and outside your organisation because that really helps.
Back to skool
If you want to get serious about sustainability and CSR, whether as a newbie or a seasoned business pro that recognises the value of bringing in external support, then we can help by delivering structured training and mentoring for key personnel within your organisation.
From CEO right down to shop floor workers, and from basic introductions through to advanced 1-2-1 coaching, we can help you upskill you and your people so that everyone is better able to incorporate sustainability and CSR into your business strategy.
For your homework, go and find out what well-known business leaders like Paul Polman (CEO Unilever), Richard Branson (no introduction necessary), Mike Barry (Head of Plan A at Marks and Spencer) and Rachel Bradley (Head of B&Q’s ‘One Planet Home’) all have to say about the need for and benefits of linking sustainability and CSR to your broader business strategy. Then, email [email protected] and we’ll help you get serious about sustainability and CSR.