From encouraging microvolunteering to switching energy providers, there are plenty of ways businesses can become more sustainable and give something back
Corporate social responsibility – or CSR – encourages employees to participate in fundraising initiatives and go the extra mile to give something back to charity or their local community. And while it can seem tricky to get started, especially for smaller businesses, embarking on CSR initiatives is worthwhile not just because it helps charities but because it can boost your ability to attract and retain staff too. In fact, according to the latest Give as you Live study of 2,000 UK employees, 37% of workers would stay longer at a company if it supported charities and local communities more. And 34% said they think their future employer’s charitable initiatives are important.
But not all companies are doing enough to involve employees or share information about the impact the projects are making. The study found that 48% of workers didn’t know how much their company had donated to charity in the past year while 51% hadn’t taken part in charity fundraising projects led by their company in the past year. So while it’s clear employees want their company to act responsibly, there's a lot more businesses can do.
These are just five potential ways that businesses can give a little something back and showcase their commitment to sustainability.
1 Give back with every purchase
Whether it’s stocking up on office supplies or booking a hotel for a business trip, every business -related purchase could be an opportunity to give to charity. Find out if the retailer you're buying from donates a portion of every purchase to charity and you could help raise money for good causes while you shop.
2. Recycle and donate
Many offices are still printing huge volumes of paper every day, so be sure to recycle office printer cartridges through recycle4charity. Once you register through the website and choose a charity, special recycling bags will be sent to your business through the post that you can use to send back empty inkjet cartridges. And with each bag of recycled cartridges you send back, the company will donate £1 to your chosen charity.
3. Encourage microvolunteering
Microvolunteering Day takes place on April 15 each year, so it's just around the corner. The idea is that giving your time to charity can be done even in small bursts that are easy to fit around your life. For example, your employees could use spare moments during lunch breaks or during their commute to complete a small volunteering tasks from their desktop or smartphone. You can even play games that support charities for free. Anyone in the workplace can contribute as little or as much as they like at any time and from anywhere.
4. Refresh the office and raise money
If you're having an office clearout, why not sell any items you no longer need on eBay and divert all or a percentage of the profits to a charity? As an eBay seller, an individual or business can opt to donate a percentage from any sale to a charity and you can add Gift Aid to the donation too.
5. Use green energy
Offices can be major energy-guzzlers, so consider switching to a green energy provider. For example, Ecotricity provides green energy to help fight climate change. There are a number of options and tariffs, depending on the size of your company.
All of these ideas are easy and efficient ways for companies to up their sustainable credentials and get employees to participate in good causes. The best idea for companies getting started with a CSR push is to kick off with two or three schemes at once that give employees different options to support charities they care about. The more choices you can give your employees and customers, the better.
This article comes courtesy of Give as you Live, the shopping and fundraising website.