BE Blogs: A Voice for Responsible Business

As part of our sustainability pledge to discuss best practices openly and honestly, we share insights that allow others to effect change in their community. While companies have responsibility to drive change internally, we believe they also can add to their insights and impact by sharing their experience with others.

Come by often to read the latest news, subscribe to our blog via email or RSS reader. Even better, join the conversation and share your ideas on how business can be a force for good in your community and environment.

No Excuses: Start Sharing your Sustainability Story Today

Jul 13, 2010   //   by Colin Manuel   //   Company Culture, Leadership, Marketing & Communication  //  No Comments

Perfection is an illusion, so share your sustainable business goals todayWhy do we wait to talk about a goal until we’re close to achieving it? If you’ve ever struggled with a diet or fallen back into a bad habit, you probably already know how the strategy works. By keeping goals to yourself, it’s much easier to let things slide when something doesn’t go according to plan. Companies launch sustainability initiatives in the same way.

By waiting to announce goals until they’re close at hand, many companies believe they’ve lowered their risk of failure. In reality, they’ve lowered their chance of success.

3 Excuses to Avoid at All Cost

When you’re starting your sustainability journey, your company can’t afford to believe these excuses:

Excuse #1 – “We’re just getting started. Customers will question our commitment to real change when we’ve only taken a few steps.”

Excuse #2 – “Shareholders will see community engagement as a frivolous expense and invest their money elsewhere.”

Excuse #3 – “Critics will hound us for “greenwashing” if we fail to reach our destination.”

Be Heard: Spread the Word Early and Often

Transparency is a hallmark of a sustainable company. By communicating your goals openly and frequently, you’ll gain much more credibility in the eyes of consumers. You may even find help from unexpected places.  Being open and honest throughout your effort will ensure that your work has value.

Crowdsourcing Sustainability: Big Ideas for Small Companies

Jul 6, 2010   //   by Colin Manuel   //   Leadership  //  No Comments

Small companies can level the innovation playing field with crowdsourcing.Ever meet someone who’s better at finding problems than solutions? It’s easy to spot the weaknesses in your sustainability strategy. But it’s far more difficult to find the time and talent to solve these issues in a small or medium-sized company.

Thankfully, the rise of crowdsourcing websites dramatically expands your ability to find ideas for solutions that are friendly to both your business and the earth.

Read more >>

3 Ways to Take Social Responsibility to Work

Jun 22, 2010   //   by Colin Manuel   //   Company Culture, Investors & Stakeholders, Leadership, Training & Education, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Is your company connected to its employees and community?Is your company connected? No, we aren’t talking about its Internet connection. We’re talking about its relationship with employees and society at large.

Today’s best companies engage stakeholders on all levels. From the health and well-being of employees to hosting and promoting activities in the local community — your company’s operations have a profound social impact. So, what can you do to manage that impact in a more meaningful way?

Start your Social Action Plan Today

You can’t become a socially responsible company overnight. But you can take steps today that will shift attitudes and openness toward more meaningful and lasting programs down the road.

Here are three programs you can start in your workplace today:

  1. Create volunteer days
    • Do you offer paid time off or flex-time for employees to volunteer their time? Consider turning an off-site meeting into a chance for team-building and community service. Ask coworkers for suggestions and search for opportunities on sites like VolunteerMatch.
  2. Provide space for local organizations to meet
    • There are countless worthy associations that don’t have a regular meeting space. Help them grow their impact by providing access to a conference room once a month. See if any of your colleagues are in a group that needs space, or post a free announcement on the community page of your local Craigslist site.
  3. Offer company talents to worthy causes
    • What can you do to help non-profits help themselves? If you’re in finance, show them how to run the organization more efficiently. If you’re in marketing, help them hone their message and broaden their reach. Visit websites like Idealist.org to see where your skills are most needed.

Balancing Interests: Shareholders and Beyond

Shareholders rely on you to deliver financial returns. Employees and society expect a return on their trust. By paying more attention to your company’s social responsibilities, you will only grow stronger as employees and the community invest more in your success.

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