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Sustainability and CSR hacks for SMEs


If you’re an SME owner or manager, there’s a good chance that your larger customers are demanding more from you on sustainability and CSR (partly because someone’s demanding it of them). Here are some simple hacks to help you improve and showcase your performance.


Disclaimer: before you start making too many changes, it’s sensible to get a handle on where you’re starting from – our unique maturity model can help.

As an SME, there’s every chance that your sustainability and CSR performance is already pretty good: smaller companies tend to experience greater cash flow pressures and therefore work harder to contain their costs, including by being resource efficient and energy thrift; and they also typically have stronger links to their community through the people they employ.

They just don’t always recognise these attributes as being linked to sustainability and CSR, so when someone asks them for evidence of their performance, they overlook these key differentiators and miss an opportunity to shine.

The business benefits of strong sustainability and CSR performance

Sustainability and CSR offer your SME business a number of benefits, which include:

Saving money, increasing profits and boosting growth

Minimising business risks

Enhancing your reputation

Reinforcing your ethics and integrity

Sustainability and CSR hacks for quick results

As an SME owner or manager, you are uniquely positioned to improve your sustainability and CSR performance: with typically flatter management structures and less bureaucracy, you can reach decisions more easily and start implementing beneficial changes more speedily.

Here are some hacks for quick results.


Pay them enough
Engage them
Develop and empower them
Reward them
Look after them (H&S)


Pay your taxes on time and in full
Comply with relevant laws

Supply chain:

Source locally where you can
Pay them on time
Involve them

Energy and resources:

Use less
Produce fewer emissions

Waste and recycling:

Create less
Recycle more

All these things added together mean you will make a real difference to society and the environment, both locally and beyond.

And, done right, the benefits keep being reinforced.

Got your own sustainability and CSR hacks? Share them in the comments below!

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