Source Marketing Direct looks at corporate social responsibility from a small business perspective as well as the benefits involved.
Corporate Social Responsibility is a business model wherein an organisation can be said to be achieving commercial success in ways that honour ethical values and respect people, communities and the natural environment. An organisation that is ‘responsible’ minimises any negative environmental and social impacts and maximises the positive ones.
Hector Montalvo, Managing Director of Source Marketing Direct says to him it is simply “an approach that is not just about turning a profit”.
The goal of CSR is to embrace accountability for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities. In other words the bottom line is not just measured in profit but in the treatment of people and the planet as well (Wikipedia, 2011.)
CSR has become an increasingly popular topic in the business world over the past ten years. Of particular interest is the lack of involvement from the small to medium sized enterprise market. It seems a stigma has emerged wherein small to medium sized companies believe CSR involves pricey policy changes or even as a management ‘fad’ (MHC International Ltd).
Source Marketing Direct is a small company providing marketing and sales services in London, the Midlands, Bedforshire, Scotland and Yorkshire here in the UK. The outsourced firm has serviced clients in a variety of industries; however in the last two years the company has built a strong name for itself within the non for profit sector. Managing Director Hector Montalvo says “Around two years ago we took on a client in the charity sector and I remember being asked for information relating to our own environmental and community involvement. To be honest I was caught a little off guard and realised that my business practices were a little outdated. I took it as an opportunity to review our policies, procedures and practices to ensure a higher level of corporate social responsibility was being achieved”.
Research by reported by RapidBI in 2010 showed that businesses that follow a CSR model are more likely to attract and retain motivated and committed employees, win consumers or business customers over a company that does not follow use a CSR model, are more likely to have networking and speaking opportunity and have positive public image and relations. Hector Montalvo of Source Marketing Direct agreed that he has seen all of these benefits.
Source Marketing Directs’ top tips for introducing easy CSR principles:
1. Recycle printer and toner cartridges as well as the usual paper and plastics!
2. Purchase fair trade products for the staff kitchen eg. Tea and coffee. Also buy stationary/supplies from local sustainable sources
3. Ensure electricity use is at a minimum – turn off lights and PC’s, reduce heating and air-con use. Use low energy bulbs.
4. Pick a community or local charity for the company to support regularly
5. Train and develop employees to maximise their own potential
6. Involve your clients and supply chain in your policies to create a flow on effect