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Running a Green Company: Corporate Social Responsibility

Green living is about protecting the environment and behaving ethically. Many businesses are embracing what’s called corporate social responsibility to make sure that its operations harm no one and instead benefit everyone around it and involved in it.

The company you work for is part of the local community where it has its offices or factories; this community includes neighbors, schools, other businesses, community projects, environmental and conservation projects, and hospitals. A truly green business makes sure that its actions in some way benefit as much of the community as possible. You can help your supervisors come up with corporate social responsibility policies for the company.

If the wider community benefits from your business, the residents will be loyal to the business, meaning that the business benefits, too.

A company can contribute to the community in many different ways, some of which cost very little:

  • Donate old computers and other equipment to schools or community, volunteer, or charity projects. Some charities even accept equipment that’s no longer working, saving it from cluttering up landfill sites.

  • Send used toner cartridges to charities or organizations that collect them on behalf of charities.

  • Campaign for office coffee and tea to come from certified Fairtrade and organic producers.

  • Ask for permission to volunteer with a local community project during work hours on a regular basis. For example, you may be able to spend an hour or two a week assisting a teacher at a local school.

  • Arrange for your company or just your department to adopt a local nonprofit organization or project, and encourage staff to donate money or time volunteering on the project for a day or weekend.

    You and your co-workers can have a green impact on your community. [Credit: Digital Vision]
    Credit: Digital Vision
    You and your co-workers can have a green impact on your community.

    Even better: Inquire as to whether your company or department can take on a community service project on company time (with the understanding that all work will stay on track, of course). Consult the appropriate person depending on your company: If you don’t know who that is, start with your supervisor.

  • Set up a scheme in which someone from your workplace goes to local high schools to talk to students about business and working in your industry.

  • Offer local young people work experience appropriate for their ages and abilities and beneficial to your workplace. Check with your Human Resources department or specialist to find out about any legal requirements that the company would have to meet.

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