• Social impact and sustainability

Small CSR steps can lead to big change

Guest Blogger | January 24, 2012

Bryan Santone, H Two Consulting Inc., Toronto, ON

Good corporate social responsibility (CSR) requires organizations to operate in a way that will have a positive impact on employees, clients, communities and the environment. There are several small steps that companies can take to integrate CSR into their business models.

  1. Philanthropy – Monetary and / or active engagement (volunteering) in social causes that may or may not alignment to your organization. In the case of my healthcare management consulting company, we take on one pro bono consulting engagement a year for a healthcare-related organization. As our company’s revenues have grown, our philanthropy has extended to sponsorship through fundraising events and contributions to important causes.
  2. Social innovation – To keep costs down in the first year of our business, we periodically hosted other young entrepreneurs in our office.  We have maintained this practice even now when cash flows are consistently positive because it enables positive idea sharing between individuals with very diverse backgrounds, perspectives and business objectives. Working with entrepreneurs and start-ups has helped our own business immensely as we now have a trusted environment where we can share some of the lessons learned from the challenges of adapting, pivoting and getting through difficult times.
  3. Culture through action – This is paramount and often sets the foundation for good and sustainable CSR. Working with, hiring and collaborating with clients, teammates and industry peers in a transparent and honest way sets the right tone for any organization. It will also help you to avoid complicated and sometimes costly situations.

I believe it is important to start CSR small with tangible activities. Check out useful resources from the Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, the Conference Board of Canada, through CCSR conferences and more. You may also get some good ideas for your company from MacLean’s Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations.

Start small…get started today!