Guide

Make your business more sustainable

Improve the social impact of your business

As part of your efforts to become more sustainable, you should look to improve the social impacts of your business. Locally, your business can have a significant social impact, both as an employer and as a neighbour.

Employing local people can be a substantial benefit for the community as well as your business. A fair approach to recruiting and developing staff can help integrate your business into the community and improve your reputation. Purchasing from local suppliers can have similar benefits.

Many businesses also get involved in community initiatives - for example, by supporting a local charity or giving staff time off to work on local initiatives. Adopting a corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy can deliver business benefits as well as helping the community.

As a neighbour, the emissions and traffic your business generates need to be managed carefully to ensure that their impact on the local environment is acceptable. For example, a noisy bar or restaurant might face growing local opposition.

To become more sustainable you should also consider the impact of the goods and services you offer. These may face growing customer resistance or regulation if they have an adverse social impact.

You also need to consider the effects you have through your supply chain. The suppliers you use, and the deals you negotiate with them, have a knock-on effect on their communities both in the UK and overseas. For example, you might choose to import only from suppliers who can demonstrate that they treat their employees fairly.