Socially responsible business is more important than ever. Companies that care less about their profit margins and incorporate social values and responsibilities into their mission and business plans add true value towards their customers, community and the environment.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) found that more than half of people surveyed are “willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact”. Examples of CSR include; conscious investments both social and environmental, reducing carbon footprints, community volunteering and engagement, charitable giving and improving labour policies. The people buying your product or service want to know that you are being innovative and hands-on with your pro-social initiatives. Companies that do this well, with stand-out social responsibility include the likes of Google (for its 100% renewable energy) and TOMS (for donating a pair of shoes for every pair sold).
Doing Good for The Environment
Sadly, over eight million metric tonnes of plastic waste are floating in the world’s oceans. Fortunately, there is increased awareness and proactive efforts being made to reduce plastic waste. Single-use plastic is declining thanks to plastic bag taxes and the rise of reusable coffee cups and water bottles. Boots and Morrisons are just two of the many companies who have expressed their commitment to reducing single-use plastics by rolling out paper bags. Paper bags are sustainable, cost-effective and are a great way to boost CSR. Boots use unbleached, brown paper which is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and printed with water-based inks so they can be easily recycled at home and the profits from their sale goes to BBC Children in Need.
Although the big environmental issue cannot be solved by recycling alone, it really does make an impact. In July, WRAP launched a £1 million grant in order to increase business waste recycling in England. The grant aims to achieve a 55% recycling rate by 2025 for non-household municipal waste under the Resources and Waste Strategy. This year, WRAP is holding its 17th annual Recycle Week, with the ultimate aim of encouraging an increase in recycling. Find out more or get involved.
A big brand which we can all take notes from, for their influence on reducing the impact of packaging on the environment, is Walkers. The Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme is the outcome of a partnership between the snacks brand and TerraCycle. Walkers are accepting crisp packets, by any brand, which can be dropped off at their collection points. The packets are cleaned, shredded and then used to make various other products e.g. outdoor furniture, trays and flooring.
Big brands like PepsiCo owned, Walkers have a wide reach, but there are simple influences that we can all be a part of to be more environmentally friendly and make a difference. Your business can help the environment by switching to Eco-Friendly cleaning products, or encouraging staff to carpool, or travel to work using Eco-Friendly transport, reducing office paper waste, switching to energy-saving light bulbs, using recycling bins, turning off electricals, or even office composting. These are easy to implement into your business and can make all the difference.
Doing Good for The Community
An example that really caught our eye was Timpson’s promotion of their ‘FREE dry cleaning service’ where Timpson offer to dry clean an outfit free of charge before an interview for the unemployed. View their service here.
Other amazing efforts have been shown by The National Lottery Good Cause scheme, which has raised over £45 billion for over 565,000 projects throughout the UK. The projects include anti-crime within communities, body positivity celebrations, support for the vulnerable and addiction rehabilitation.
Rates of homelessness in Britain continue to rise and at the end of last year, 320,000 people in Britain were recorded as homeless. This is an overall increase of 13,000 people from the previous year. With Britain’s worsening housing crisis, these figures are only to grow. Although there are numerous charities working hard to end homelessness, there are great impacts that businesses can make to these individuals’ lives. One great way of doing this is to offer your time and not just your money.
National Lottery-funded charity ‘Haircuts4Homeless’ is just one of the great projects offering a helping hand across communities where skilled hairdressers give their time free of charge to give haircuts for homeless people in the UK & IRL.
Haircuts4Homeless, set up by veteran hairdresser Stewart Roberts, is built up of skilled hairdresser volunteers who are giving their time free of charge. The registered charity wants to make a positive difference for the homeless. Communications agency Adam & Eve DDB launched a campaign for National Lottery operator Camelot, which featured Haircuts4Homeless. The 60-second TV spot was shown during an ad break during the X Factor and focusses on the good causes funded by The National Lottery and its players.
Selfless, London based hairdresser Joshua Coombes, shares images of his free haircuts for the homeless via Instagram hashtag #DoSomethingForNothing and the transformations are truly inspiring, see Joshua’s Instagram here.
Hats off to two, Northampton-based businesses who have each offered out their help and talents for free to the homeless. Jake Hillery runs five barber shops including Quarter’s Barbering who dedicated their time at Northampton’s Hope Centre last year by offering free haircuts to those without a home. Whilst Shades in Gold Street shut its doors for two hours to pamper 15 homeless women with free treatments including haircuts, blow-dry’s, facials and manicures.
Any company or business sector can adapt and innovate for the good of society and our environment. It may be just a haircut, a reusable cup or offering your staff time off for a good cause, but small changes can make big differences, and it’s never too late to make a difference. Why not revise your sustainability plans today to make sure you’re doing the best you can possibly do?