Leading a business to increased social corporate responsibility during a time of organizational change is challenging. However, valuable guidance is provided through evaluation of programs existing organizations have successfully implemented, based upon ethics and corporate social responsibility.
Business leaders seeking to embark upon a new path to social corporate responsibility can look to companies that set the benchmarks for corporate business ethics. The idea is not to copy the approach used by the benchmarking companies, but to compare successful initiatives, and find weak, but fixable, areas within one’s own corporation.
Corporate Business Ethics and Green Initiatives
While innovative companies are continuously creating new programs, the four main ways available for companies to participate in a green initiative are reducing, reusing, recycling, and contributing financially.
Companies often unintentionally waste valuable resources. The wasted resources are found in the manufacturing process, in the office, or even in the shipping process. An inspection of company waste might reveal product that can be used for other purposes, printed papers that could have been stored in digital form, or small shipments being sent in excessively large vehicles.
Purchasing recycled materials whenever possible is one way a company can begin a program of reuse. Actively seeing ways to reuse items that would otherwise be sent to the landfill is another option. Reusing is as simple as using the back of printed paper as scratch paper to get a second use from it before recycling. Reusing, if desired, is also as complicated as developing a new product that uses waste materials.
Recycling is one of the more popular ways for a company to participate in a green initiative. Manufacturing companies have the option to create products from recycled materials, to make products designed with the goal of recycling at the end of product life cycle, and to simply recycle waste materials. Offices might opt to recycle used papers and ink cartridges.
Contributing to eco-friendly organizations is another popular method companies use to participate in earth friendly, and people friendly, programs. One option is for the organization to contribute a portion of sales from a specific item to a charity. A second option is for the organization to collect donations from customers and employees and donate the proceeds to the pre-named charity.
Leading Organizational Change and Human Capital
Human capital, and labor relations issues are also a very important when discussing ethics and corporate social responsibility. Unethical labor practices, like using sweatshop labor, child labor, or hiring illegal aliens, are generally detrimental to the long term success of companies. However, poor labor relations practices do not necessarily mean the end of a company, if the problems are proactively addressed and dealt with by company leaders.
As mentioned above, it is hard to lead an increase social corporate responsibility during a time of organizational change. But with the tips mentioned in this article, hopefully that tasks is now somewhat manageable.