A brief note from Jonathan: Corporate Social Responsibility is a complex, but important topic. I am delighted to share with you this guest post by freelance writer Ruby Clarkson.

In today’s society, consumers are looking for more than just to buy a product. We are increasingly looking for ethical products, with a focus on where they come from, what waste they create and whether they are damaging to our planet.

Corporate social responsibility is something that all businesses need to be taking seriously. Whether it is about working in the local community, doing charity work, or enhancing employees’ needs, it is an important part of running a business in the modern world.

Consumers are researching a lot more around what they buy, so it is important that businesses are doing their bit. And one of the most important aspects to corporate social responsibility is to cut down on waste and make recycling a focal point of what they do.

Why is Recycling Important for Businesses?

Recycling waste materials can have a huge impact on the world. With wastage around the production, packaging, sale and delivery of products and services, businesses have a massive responsibility to do what they can to reduce it. Whether it is recycling their waste, or using recycled materials in their products, businesses need to be aware of this key aspect of their corporate social responsibilities and reduce their carbon footprint.

Recycling your materials can often work out to be cheaper for your business, as well as lessen your impact on the earth, and, as if that wasn’t enough, boost your reputation in the eyes of increasingly critical consumers.

In fact, according to a Kantar TNS survey, 63% of the British population were ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ concerned about reducing the amounts of packaging in what they were buying. And recycling, in terms of corporate social responsibility is actually a pretty easy one to get started with.

What can you do as a Business?

There are a number of things that you can be doing as a business to incorporate recycling into your best business practices, and helping to fulfil your corporate social responsibility and beginning to do your bit to help the world:

  • Try to work as paperless as possible and recycle any paper that you must use or throw away.
  • Many orders and deliveries come in carboard packaging. You can use a baler to bale your cardboard into a compact package and then send off to be recycled, often working out cheaper for you as a business than paying a non-recycler to take it away.
  • Use recycled products and materials as much as you can if you are producing things. Think also about how you are packaging your products and try to use recycled materials as much as possible. Even if these are more expensive than some other materials, you are likely to make it back from the extra business that you get from having an ethically responsible reputation.
  • Make sure that all staff and employees are recycling as much as possible. Provide paper, glass, metal and plastic bins for them to separate out their waste and make this as convenient as possible for them to do.
  • Be an innovator in your area of business by trying to incorporate products made from recycled materials, or at least design recyclable packaging. Whilst this is more of a long term look at recycling, the world is becoming increasingly environmentally aware, and this will only reflect favourably on your business.
  • Try to use suppliers and distributors who also take recycling seriously and strive to reduce the amount of waste that they create.
  • Recycling doesn’t just have to be about sending things out to be recycled. You can also recycle yourselves. Use both side of a piece of paper, re-use envelopes for internal post, or encourage the elimination of single use cups.
  • If possible, try to eliminate single use uniforms and equipment and exchange them for multi-use options.

Incorporating recycling into your corporate social responsibility activities is simple and easy to manage. By embracing recycling as a business, you are not only putting out the right image to your customers – and potential customers, but also setting a good example to your employees. And that’s not to mention the actual impact of your recycling and use of recycled products on the earth.

With the increased awareness of climate change and the challenges confronted by our planet, it is important that we take sustainability seriously and encourage eco-friendliness, and this is the ideal way to integrate this into your business practices.

Ruby Clarkson is a freelance writer who is passionate about our planet, the state that it’s in and the animals that we share it with. When she is not writing, she is either watching the news, out in the garden or wrapped up in a blanket with a good book. Accompanied by a bar of chocolate of course. 

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