#ThrowbackCSRFiles: 20 Simple Steps To #Sustainability

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Wondering what it really means to be Sustainable or how you can achieve it? Here are 20 simple steps that you can begin with:

  1. Start by rethinking the purpose of your business and don’t tell me your purpose is to make widgets or make money.
  2. Recognize that you’re not the only one in your enterprise, who is seeking meaning to life. Your employees are too, not to mention all your other stakeholders.
  3. One of the most meaningful ways you can give your employees a sense that their contributions are valued and their voices heard is by involving them in decision-making.
  4. Maslow can also teach you, if you need to learn the lesson, that your employees can’t seek meaning in life unless their most fundamental need is satisfied: to survive – to feed, clothe and house themselves and their families and to obtain care for when they’re sick.
  5. Consider profit-sharing as a way to boost morale, increase productivity, and foster a sense of ownership among your employees.
  6. Think about sharing the wealth created by your business.
  7. Commit your business to the health and wellness of its employees, including yours.
  8. Build into your core business policies and practices a commitment to diversity and inclusion, taking necessary steps to recruit, train, and support employees that represent the full range of ethnic, gender, and racial diversity of your community.
  9. Conduct an environmental and energy audit of your company’s operations, using a third party auditor.
  10. Based on the findings of your environmental and energy audit, draft an environmental policy statement and environmental management system that will guide your company’s resource use in the future.
  11. Heed the 3 Rs and 1 C of contemporary recycling: reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost – and involve your customers, too.
  12. When designing new products and considering the materials to be used in them, plan for the products’ full lifetime.
  13. Take a look around, and assess your suppliers, vendors and strategic partners. Do their labour standards, environmental standards, and levels of community involvement match your own?
  14. Find at least one way that you can involve your employees in a high-profile effort to benefit the community or communities where you do business.
  15. At least, once annually, hold an all-staff meeting (or a meeting in each work unit or facility) to discuss how the company can improve its performance on the non-financial aspects of your business- the social and environmental factors that go hand-in-hand with financial factors I a triple bottom line business.
  16. Describe your vision, mission and values in a flyer or brochure, and in a post on your company’s website.
  17. Once or twice a year, involve your employees, customers or both in selecting a social or environmental issue of shared concern.
  18. Once a month, hold a staff meeting, where a leading local nonprofit organization may make a brief presentation to familiarize you and your employees with its work.
  19. Hold a staff meeting to discuss philanthropy with your employees. Discuss the roles that they, individually and collectively, as well as the company might play in a philanthropic programme.
  20. Become a spokesperson for the triple bottom line. Contact local news media to offer yourself or colleagues for interviews by newspapers, on talk radio, or on local TV shows.

Excerpts from CSR Files Volume 1 Issue 3 – ‘Sustainability: The S of Business’

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