Community is one of the most important elements people often cite for doing business in Hertfordshire.
CSR (corporate social responsibility) works both ways, with businesses benefitting as they have a positive impact on the environment and their community.
Here at #HertsHour, we pride ourselves on being active members of our community – locally and nationally. We know that we’re not alone in participating as individuals and as a business to enhance society and the environment. Every week on the #HertsHour live twitter stream we hear stories of people who make a difference.
Whatever sector or industry you are in – and no matter what size your company is – there are many reasons to formalise your business’s CSR activities. Properly organised and communicated, CSR allows all your employees, stakeholders and clients to stay informed and feel more part of the community.
Hertfordshire is a great place to do business and there are plenty of opportunities to amplify your impact on the community. We hear all the time about people jumping out of planes, baking cakes, organising quiz nights and climbing mountains. Even if the mountains are further afield.
Usually, CSR programmes need a company to be well-established first, but they can equally help in the initial stages of business development. Ethical behaviour and community contacts will often increase brand awareness and loyalty, so it’s as well to consider it from the start.
At a formal level, there is a set of voluntary standards – drawn up in 2010 by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) – which help companies implement corporate social responsibility. ISO 26000 clarifies CSR and guides companies in translating those principles into effective actions. On a less formal level, #HertsHour is a great way to publicise your CSR activities and involve others in partnerships. One of our earliest activities was raising funds for the Garden House Hospice by walking through Letchworth on a warm summer night. We raised funds and had fun that night.
What does your business contribute to the community? Do you have a CSR policy or more ad hoc guidelines? Let us know what you are doing to make a difference in the comments below.
Special Mention goes to Sharon Cooper, local Herts photographer for the thinking behind the photo we are using here. Still looking great, even though it was taken back in 2015! We love it!