Three responsibilities as a business owner
1. Look at the UN’s sustainability goals and the long-term plans of your business
The UN has set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals to transform our world by 2030. Your organisation may not be able to ‘fix’ all of these overnight s, but tangibly, you could start with one. For example, Goal 1 is “No Poverty” and in order to work towards this goal in your organisation, you may look at the salaries of your employees, look at which charities you contribute to and look at the level of poverty in your local community to see how you can do more to help. The companies that we work with are proving that they take Goal 12 of the SDGs seriously: ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ - they’ve looked at their businesses and realised there’s much more they can do with the ‘waste’ products such as dredged materials, hydro excavation waste and more. Meanwhile our customers that are remediating contaminated soils are demonstrating that they’re dedicated to the health of the people in their communities.
Is there more you could do to generate less waste, ensure a safer environment and perhaps even create a more profitable business as a result?
2. Don’t compromise on the little things
One way we can work towards better CSR is to consider our consumption on a small scale as well - and make small changes that create impactful differences. This may be as simple as looking at the amount of paper your organisation is using and making steps towards a paperless business or perhaps you could look at the amount of waste in your staff canteen and educate your employees on waste. These may seem like the little things, however, if every business refuses to compromise on the little thing, we can be sure that it will create a huge impact – not to mention companies are bound to save huge amounts of money as a result of more considered consumption.
3. Make your employees aware of their responsibilities
As a business owner, your employees are to a certain extent, your responsibility, which means their attitude towards corporate social responsibility is your responsibility too. That’s a lot of responsibility! Creating a culture of sustainable consumption isn’t easy but by making your employees aware of what’s expected from them, your teams know that it’s important to you, which cultivates a business where they see sustainability as a priority.
Three responsibilities as an employee
1. Make yourself aware of your responsibilities- ask for clarity on what your organisation expects
You may feel it’s your employer’s responsibility to make you aware of what’s expected from you in terms of consumption and sustainable business practices – and you’d be right- but that doesn’t take the onus from you. You should also strive to make yourself aware of what you can do to make your organisation more sustainable within the walls of the organisation, within the local community and beyond. If you don’t feel like it’s clear within your organisation, ask for clarity!
2. Don’t compromise on the little things
Printing your documents double-sided for that meeting tomorrow or considering going paperless instead, may seem like changes that are too minor to make a difference, but if everyone across the world did this, the impact would be huge. The same goes for supporting local community events or charities on a global scale- that raffle ticket or £3 donation to a worthy cause are all little things that contribute to corporate social responsibility for your organisation. The little things are what make up the big things!
3. Speak up if there’s more you can do as a business
CSR and sustainability are only going to become more and more important for businesses across the globe so if you see a lack of initiatives in your organisation- speak up! A few years back, the Guardian published an article on the “Top 10 things employers are looking for” based on job adverts in the market- motivation, passion and commitment were 3 of the top 10. By identifying ways your organisation can be more sustainable, you’ll be showing your employer that you’re not only motivated and passionate about our world, but you’re also committed to the long-term success of your organisation. It’s a win win!
At Ecomondo in Italy next month, we’ll be talking to businesses in more detail about how to remove their waste burden and create more sustainable business practices whether you’re dealing with hydro excavation waste, road sweepings or contaminated soils. If you’re visiting the exhibition, be sure to come chat to us at Hall A1, Stand 064. You can also book an appointment with us in advance.
 United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals, https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/
 The Guardian, (2013) Top 10 things employers are looking for https://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/apr/22/top-10-things-employers-looking-for