7 Pathetic Excuses for Doing Nothing On Corporate Responsibility
1. We’re too small.
No you are not. You are never too small. Solo practitioners may be able to duck many of the pressures that bigger organisations come under, but even they will find the need to have an environmental policy if they want to compete for certain contracts. And why would you pass up the chance to improve your image? And even the smallest businesses have to comply with certain legislation.
2. We don’t have enough money.
You don’t need to invest in lots of shiny new technology to get started. Behavioural change and low and no cost interventions can make a heck of a difference and if you are really smart you will use the savings from these to fund more capital intensive measures.
3. Our sector doesn’t have a big impact on the environment.
Sustainability is no longer just an issue for big dirty industries, the drivers are starting to impact on all sectors including services and the knowledge based economy. I know a law firm which had to provide their carbon footprint to buyers just to compete in a tender.
4. There is no pull from our customers.
Are you sure?
B2B? Large public organisations, big brands and retailers are driving sustainability down through their supply chains.
B2C? While only a significant minority of the public may be overtly demanding greener products, lack of responsibility can impact on your broader brand and responsibility.
And, even if your customers aren’t asking for sustainability now, doesn’t mean they won’t next month.
5. Milton Friedman said the only social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.
And look where that sort of thinking got us. If the banks had taken a bit more responsibility above and beyond profit making, we may not have had the financial crash. The economy operates as a part of society which exists in the environment – you can’t compartmentalise any of them. Oh, and legislators, customers, shareholders and employees may not be as big fans of Friedman as you.
6. There’s a recession on.
Why would you want to ditch a way of winning more business AND cutting costs if you are in financial difficulty? There is a tonne of evidence that sustainability/CSR has been a boon in the recession, not a burden.
7. It’s just a fad.
It’s been called a fad for the last 40 years. In that time, pressure to go green has intensified, not diminished. So get your head out of the sand and do something!