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Ain’t we all (personally) responsible for what we leave behind in this world? When we are running a business and produce or sell products. But also as a customer, what we are looking for. How products are made and where they come from.
The behavior of every organization, company or individual should be based on honesty, equality,
and integrity. Those values indicate that one takes care of the people, the animals, and the
environment and pay attention to the impact of the decisions and activities on the interests of every
party. Every organization, company, and an individual should actively seek to act ethically.
Definition of corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainable enterprise or corporate social responsibility is a form of entrepreneurship aimed at economic performance (profit), with respect for the social side (people), within the ecological preconditions (planet): the triple-P approach. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has drawn up recommendations for corporate social responsibility, the so-called OECD guidelines. These guidelines make clear what governments expect from the behavior of companies.
The chaos theory
Edward Lorenz, the father of chaos theory, has died. The American meteorologist has revolutionized our worldview as much as Albert Einstein or Max Planck: He discovered that a butterfly wagging its wings in Shanghai could theoretically trigger a massive hurricane in New York.
This theory says, in fact, that everything is connected, and that every action creates some kind of impact on the earth. On others, animals and/or the environment.
Awesome ways of sustainable manufacturing of companies around the world
You’ll be surprised to see how many companies and individuals are already very concerned about their impact what their decisions bring about in the world.
MUD Jeans dreams of a world without waste. The production of clothing is damaging to the environment. Raw materials are becoming increasingly scarce. Every year, 135 million kilos of clothing is burned in the Netherlands. Pity. Because all those raw materials can be reused.
Buy or lease your jeans. Wear it as long as you want. But, when the jeans are carried out, send it back! The pants remain the property of MUD Jeans.
Kiva is fighting poverty by providing microloans to the poorest people in the world. So that they are able to build their own business with a small investment
Companies and self-interest
Companies exist to make a profit, which means looking for ways to reduce costs and maximize revenues. It is only reasonable that companies are socially responsible in those areas where that does not endanger the profit. Is it not very paradoxical that organizations under the guise of social responsibility, strive to avoid child labor, but then puts the suppliers under such pressure to deliver at a low cost that they actually have no other choice? The only socially responsible attitude is to raise prices, giving suppliers more freedom of movement. But with that attitude, it is almost impossible to remain profitable and compete with other companies who do not take it so closely with ethics.
What is your responsibility as a customer?
Do you prefer sustainable brands? As a consumer, you have equal responsibility towards nature and the sustainability of products as the manufacturer.
Corporate sustainability and ethical choices
A company that sets out towards sustainable responsibility should first find the answer to these three fundamental questions:
- How does the strategy of the company contribute to sustainable development?
- How can the values of the company support the sustainability strategy?
- How can we ensure that all different stakeholders are behind this
10 steps to implant sustainable behavior in your company
- Ask yourself the fundamental questions
And how can we ensure that all different stakeholders support this policy?
- Analyzing the strategy from a sustainable perspective
What should she and her surroundings look like? In 30 years?
- Situate your business on the market
Work from a denial of responsibility to a recognition of responsibility. Develop a vision.
- Identify who needs to offer support
Your staff, shareholders, etc. involve all stakeholders. Organize consultation.
- Create a formula
Focus on the concrete consequences of your decisions for your daily activities.
- Communicate with involvement
It is possible to go to the employees of the different departments, customers, shareholders, suppliers, competitors, government officials or the society in general.
- Spread your message
Be inventive! Do not hesitate to use different channels use. Communicate regularly and continuously.
- Communicate with the right resources
Information campaigns: provide visual elements that come back everywhere, on the posters in the meeting rooms, on the banners at strategic locations in the company, as a screensaver on the computers.
Integrate a training for your new business strategy for your employees.
- Progress in the long-term
Is the management aware that all employees look at them? When making decisions?
Make sure the top managers set a good example.
- Guarantee follow-up
The establishment of an Ethics Committee guarantees that the principles are held up-to-date. That the process is followed up and that the top management is informed.
Sustainability is about finding an optimum between values and norms in the social, economic and ecological fields. In order to be able to put sustainable development on the map, despite the difference in thinking of the different population groups, it is in any case necessary to respect the values of others. Only by involving all stakeholders in making choices, sustainable choices can be made. In fact, there is hardly ever good or bad.
Whatever business you are in, try to make it sustainable. Here are some tips to take into consideration:
- Use a solar system for your electricity
- Use an office with lots of natural light and save on artificial light
- Do business with companies with the same vision
- Set sustainability above profit
- Work from home or live nearby your companies location
- Use the local market for supplies
Of course, your company needs to make a profit to survive, but what use does survive have for a company when there is no life possible on this planet for your successor?
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