We’re all becoming ever more mindful of environmental issues as a society, which means green initiatives and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is more important for businesses than ever. Essentially CSR refers to a company’s commitment to the environmental and social impacts of its business. In this week’s blog, we’re looking at why it’s so vital for you to look after yours.
At Low Carbon Energy, we’ve been talking a lot about the public’s attitude to greener forms of energy (for example, solar panels). You need only look as far as last week’s blog to see some hard evidence about how important green initiatives are to the general public, and it’s really important that businesses just like yours move with the trend. Increasing numbers of modern consumers have very strong sets of ethics when it comes to making purchases, and they’ll want the companies they buy from to reflect those ethics too.
Buying goods or services from companies that don’t appear strongly committed to good causes can be seen as a betrayal of personal values, and most customers would sooner just shop somewhere else. It’s a good indication of why Corporate Social Responsibility is so important – no matter your industry – and why 93% of the world’s largest 250 companies publish annual CSR reports as of January 2017.
It’s probably a fairly obvious point to make, but outward philanthropy – either social or environmental – hugely boots your credibility in the eyes of your customers. Buying from a company with charitable initiatives allows your customers to feel good about themselves when they make a purchase, increasing the chances they’ll come back again and again. On that same public relations standpoint, you may even find that it increases your standing with the local media – which is never a bad thing.
At its very core, a good sense of corporate social responsibility shows that you care, giving you a strong human element that your customers can relate to. Consumers generally don’t like the idea of faceless corporations; most people far prefer to feel like they’re buying from fellow, compassionate human beings, who hold themselves to a high standard when it comes to their effects on the world around them. It links back to that point about reflecting personal values above.
As well as the likelihood of it increasing your bottom line, there are all sorts of other reasons to practice corporate social responsibility. It can give you a big leg up in the recruitment stakes too. People are far more likely to want to work at a company with an excellent green public image, which means you’re likely to fill vacant positions faster. Not only that, but statistics show that people who are proud of their employer are up to 60% more engaged with their jobs, giving a dramatic boost to productivity. (It’s the same with potential investors, too – everything that makes you more attractive to customers will also make you more attractive to them!)
In addition to this, transforming your internal energy structure can help you reap big benefits on the financial front. Not only can you make great savings on your energy bills by switching to solar power, but you can even sell excess electricity back to the national grid – which is a bonus that’s definitely not to be sniffed at.
Not only are you giving some fantastic benefits to your own business, but you’re also helping to do your bit for the world around you. Reducing your carbon footprint is a wonderfully altruistic step for any business, and growing numbers of companies are beginning to recognise this. Make sure you’re one of them!
Investing in solar panels is a great way for you to take the first step in improving your energy efficiency. And what’s more, you can benefit from our Energy Efficiency Grant for SMEs, which can give you £10,000 – or up to 30% of the spend on your new carbon technologies. It’s definitely not to be missed, but it’s first come first serve, so don’t miss your chance!
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