“Proactive social and environmental policies can help small businesses stand out from their competitors,” said Carolyn Berkowitz, president and CEO of the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP)
Fairfax, VA – During this week’s celebration of National Small Business Week from April 30th through May 6th, the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP), the nation’s leading advocate for corporate social impact professionals, is calling attention to the role small businesses can play in helping to promote socially responsible business practices.
“Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) isn’t only for large corporations with deep pockets. In fact, small businesses that adopt proactive social and environmental policies and practices stand out from their competitors, especially among customers and employees,” said Carolyn Berkowitz, president and CEO of the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP), the nation’s leading advocate for corporate social impact professionals. “By prioritizing CSR and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, small businesses can enhance their reputation, attract and retain top talent, earn an advantage with customers and contribute to a better world.”
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a concerted effort that businesses make to enhance society and the environment. Most include some combination of support for local charities; organizing employee volunteers; promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion; and protecting natural resources.
5 Ways Small Businesses Can Practice CSR and ESG to Grow, Expand, and Start Socially Responsible Businesses:
- Start small. CSR gains the most traction when employees and customers believe that the cause “makes sense” for the unique business, e.g., one that customers care about, employees have skills in, or aligns with the product or brand.
- Partner with community-based organizations by engaging employees in volunteer activities and combine it with other resources, like cash or product donations.
- Reduce the environmental impact of business practices by implementing recycling programs or sourcing products and services from sustainable suppliers.
- Allow employees to have a voice in choosing the social impact-related causes and activities to foster employee loyalty and find a greater purpose in their work.
- Communicate about your CSR and ESG work with customers, employees, and the media to increase recognition, positively promote your brand, and build customer loyalty.
Berkowitz concluded, “Engaging in socially responsible practices can help small businesses increase their bottom lines by fostering customer loyalty and goodwill, recruiting, and retaining employees, and managing risks associated with environmental and social factors. Also, depending on whether your small business is a supplier with larger corporations, ESG may be a factor in being qualified to bid on, and win contracts and business opportunities.”
ACCP recently released its 4th annual CSR toolkit aimed at supporting organizations and companies’ journey to implementing CSR and ESG initiatives.