As new generations enter the marketplace, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability are becoming ever more important.  Quality and price will always remain crucial factors in purchasing decisions, but social and environmental impact are becoming critical criteria as well.  With the help of social media, today’s savvy consumer can see beyond logos and labels and will judge your company based on its actions.  To be a player in the economy of today and the future, your company must be a good corporate citizen.

First, Do NO HARM

It’s easy to rattle off a list of companies who have lost large amounts of revenue due to environmental disasters, mistreatment of workers and other breaches of good corporate citizenship.  Ensuring that your company remains vibrant into the future means removing risk, including the risk of negative social or environmental impacts.  Your company needs to review its practices and those of its supply chain and distribution network and reduce its exposure to these dangers.  Make changes to your corporate culture to stress the importance of practicing harmlessness and hold your team accountable as stewards of this mission.

Sustainability Begins at Home

Your company cannot change the entire world; instead focus on your company’s individual footprint and how it can be improved.  These improvements will not only boost your company’s image, but will also increase its bottom line.  By instituting a quarterly internal review, you will soon turn up areas of improvement.  Find ways to incentivize your team to root out these opportunities.  Create feedback loops that keep executives informed about employee satisfaction, waste management, energy consumption and community impact.

Learn More

The most effective way to improve your company’s responsibility and sustainability is to go through a formal Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Audit from an outside firm. This will enumerate clear paths you can take to minimize your risks and improve your standing.  Short of that, there are a number of organizations that provide excellent information and techniques.  Please check out the links below and get your organization’s evolution underway.

Green Grove Group

Green Business Bureau

Certified B Corporation

Have You Put a Plan in Place?

Have you already implemented a plan? What have been the impacts? What did you, the employees, the company learn? Let us know by leaving your comments below. We’d love to hear from the advancements of stewards of the environment!

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Guest Blogger & Author: Jason Gray, CEO of Greeley Street Consulting, a socially responsible business solutions firm.