Guide

Ethical trading

How socially responsible is your business?

To promote your business as socially responsible, you need to chart your progress in implementing socially responsible activities and identify areas where further improvements can be made.

Social responsibility audit

First though, you need to assess how far your business goes beyond fulfilling its minimum legal obligations. This means carrying out a social responsibility audit in which you consider your business' impact on:

  • the market - for example, how you promote yourself, how and where you obtain supplies and how you sell your products or services
  • your workforce - the wages you pay, your employees' conditions and your equal opportunities policies
  • the environment - for example, your emission, waste and consumption strategies
  • the community - for example, whether you are a 'good neighbour' and what you put back into the community
  • human rights - such as taking into account not just your own direct relationships but also your suppliers' business relationships

The nine principles of the UN Global Compact, covering human rights, labour and the environment, also provide a template against which you can assess your business.