What is CSR
Banking and Finance
Clients and cultivating a long-term partnerships
Digital Resources and Economy
Electricity and Heat
Food and Drink
Final Words …
Corporate Social Responsibility is a relatively new concept from the turn of the 21st Century created to embrace the three main cornerstones of Sustainable Development.
CSR encompasses social improvements in the workplace, local community the workplace occupies as well as the global implications of the company or organisations activities.
It must be stated that CSR is merely not pioneered for just competitive large corporations – CSR’s are more functional and easily implemented at SME’s [and non-profit organisations] level where all employees can be encouraged, involved and empowered to build and practice the CSR policy
The Davius consultancy has highlighted parts of its (ever evolving over the last decade) CSR policy which you are welcome to utilise these processes for your own organisation. If adopted by hundreds of other organisations – these basic guidelines and issues highlighted would have a significant positive effect towards contributing to benign business, social and environmental activity.
What can your organisation do? Many will find creating their own customised CSR policy a daunting task. One of the cliché norms of today are that companies will merely ‘copy & paste’ the better part of other companies policies, that they will benefit their own company. This will simply not work appropriately to your company’s daily processes. By start with one small aspect of the business, ask all employees to contribute ideas and gradually build up your organisations CSR portfolio. Each person you work will have a designated task, which they will over time incubate ideas, for example; on how to improve performance, reduce waste, increase efficiency or improve morale. by establishing a strong two-way dialogue this will encourage more innovative measures in your industry/workplace.
All companies are increasingly becoming aware of their local economic and social impacts as well as the ecological footprint burden for their daily activities. Any business or charitable organisations has ‘flows’ that you must contend with. Where do we source our utility resources? Hardware resources? Office stationary or factory hardware? Snacks, lunches, catering? Raw materials?
Even now in the 2010’s many companies have no choice but to purchase a product from a solid manufacturer yet they may have questionable [ethical or environmental] grounds. We simply cannot boycott entire industries yet support them by improving their appliances and products they sell. Any company that ignores client feedback will stalemate their own growth.
One story that remain forever etched in my mind was “For years our locality purchased goods in the mid-20th century from a very ‘dubious businessman’ who would also employ many locals and pay them in a peculiar currency (locally made) that could only be used in his own shops”. These shops were massively overpriced and the local employees were trapped and exploited. 95% of the locals were therefore forced to purchase utter rubbish from these shops. Yet the human spirit in people is never totally defeated. In small pockets the locals began their own informal economy, until it was strong enough to establish their own shops to use conventional monies.
We’ve all heard this same tale in its many various incarnations – yet the moral of the story rings through; market diversification, sourcing and processing is essential to maintain an efficient, content and productive profitable workplace. In the late 20th century many schemes exist and were rebranded as LETS [Local Exchange Trading Schemes] yet these are not as widespread as the public had predicted them to be. Informal economies are difficult to monitor, yet are a backbone to any local community. Your company can create stronger links with the locale and support such informal applications which may feedback to your establishment and reputation.
Of the last 15-20 years the Davius consultants have put funds into organisations such as:
- Co-Operative Group (Local inclusion Society)
- (Local) Credit Unions (Local Inclusion Society)
- Ecological Building Society (Sustainable Mortgage Society)
- Ethical Property Company
- Riverside Farm Garden (community investment farm)
- Shared Interest (Ethical Investment)
- Triodos Bank Plc (Sustainable Banking)
Please see Network/Investment Portfolio in menu bar for reference sources and contact details. http://www.davius.co.uk/network-investment-portfolio.html
Credit cards (responsibly used) can act as affinity cards where your use of them will result in a donation to favoured charities at the end of each [financial] year. For the Davius group we used credit cards over the last 10-15 years which benefit the following organisation:
- Centre of Alternative Technology
- Co-Operative Group
- Woodland Trust
Although the amounts are relatively small – it is more an activity of supporting and belonging and sharing the positive word with other interested parties. It is more important that one hundred thousand people/participants get actively involved with sustainable banking and saving, than just one millionaire investing one lump sum into the banking process.
The public are well versed from information by the academic sector and media have reported the declining rates that endangered species face. Many feel helpless as there is nothing they can directly do. Making a token donation to some charities is a token gesture and many feel is insufficient – The Davius consultancy has physically improved green spaces, planted more trees in local forest projects and aims to add 500 indigenous wildflowers to the locality each year, commencing in 2002.
Cleaning up the local street and green spaces is a token gesture to support the local businesses and residents, this leads by example and over the years other participants have independently taken similar actions. The council workers who clean the streets have opened dialogue with the residents and business keepers and a subtle cohesion always works in the background of maintaining the clean streets and spaces. Small gestures such as this help improve community open communications and a sense of ownership and citizenship responsibility.
Over time – we have gained donations (no amount too small!) from various people and organisations to continue our Biodiversity Profile. If you wish to contribute something via Paypal or bank transfer, please contact us at email@example.com (PayPal preferred) – it is part of our ethical policy that all donations are PURELY used for the wildflower and tree planting processes in our locality. This does not contribute towards the carbon sequestration packages that we offer businesses to offset their carbon footprint; that is a separate package.
Although not necessary for the present, our philosophy is to encompass ones entire lifetime and lifestyle activities. For carbon emissions and waste output, we have accounted for each of the staff’s carbon footprint. This includes a backlog of the last four decades of the consultants activities as we work towards absorbing our own LCA [Life Cycle Assessment] of multiple travels on airplanes, trains (long freight) and estimating 15, 000 miles of driving (small engine car) travels for each year of our lives.
This is not just paying funds towards positive groups such as various Carbon Trusts – we must actively absorb our own carbon count. There are many practices for achieving this. Use of renewable sourced electricity, planting trees and wildflowers, carbon capture by Biochar – there are many new practices emerging now we should all consider.
Make the effort to know your clients and their company individuality and ethos – for every contract you undertake will not be some generic exercise; tailoring every aspect by knowing clients true needs is essential for a greater product outcome and business association. Cultivating new relationships is essential and preserving long term business and a strong level of trust is essential to support stable economies and social inclusion. Much as many feel business is about who is quickest to usurp another, unions, legal actions and unnecessary threats – a happier workplace is a more productive workplace than one where negativity and stress result in companies losing money due to ill staff, legal proceedings, lying and deceit which causes more long term illness and deleterious to the productive working environment.
In this era of a necessity for good business and transparency, one error made on your behalf will cost your future contracts and nothing tears quicker through industry than negative word-of-mouth, as someone else will be straight in there to replace you. A good company is one that is sold on it’s word of mouth and repetitively the same clients keep returning to use your product and services.
The following applications are utilised:
- The Phone Co-Op provides some of Davius’ landline, mobile and communications administration services.
- Computer and hardware equipment are powered by electricity from a sustainable renewable energy source.
- The Website hosting by a Sustainable themed business.
- The web design company we use has strong moral, ethical and sustainable practices encompassed into their policy.
- Yearly costs contribute towards the Co-Operative Dividend programme – each year another source of donations are made towards supporting charities.
e-Crime has a massive impact upon our global climate, even in the face of a global massive recession – billions of each countries funds are syphoned off by illegal cyber hackers and electronic/digital scams. We actively engage in our daily practices of preventative measures and advise our clients on taking up additional measures to protect themselves. No confidential material is ever recycled – everything is destroyed efficiently and safely.
The left triangle is widely recognised as the waste hierarchy adopted by many countries, to this Davius has adapted it in the similar light to relate to our energy consumption (business) philosophy and that many things we undertake reflect strongly in both pyramids hierarchies.
We encourage all organisations to source their electricity and heat from sustainable sources. More importantly than this – we should reduce and not use energy at all where possible. Good building design can create a balance of heating and cooling for its daily processes without actually using energy.
Basic measures include:
- Additional insulation added to roof.
- Electricity sourced from renewable sources.
- Heat produced from micro ground heat pumps.
- Water collection and storage/re-use.
Regardless of what location (office, Nursery or client’s location) prioritise the consumption of:
- Fair Trade products. Tea/Coffee/biscuits/fruit.
- Local Produce – via local farmers markets and organic box scheme.
- Organic where possible.
This is supported further by investment in fair trade, organic local box schemes and local produce/craftwork where appropriately procured for the workplace.
On a peripheral issue – although it may not be hygienic or safe to drink rain water – the external Rain butts (this is applied to the external lower façade of the office area) will collected 1000’s of litres of usable rainwater each year for the communal green space recent created.
For our commuters who use bikes – we encourage such activities by providing a energy/water efficient shower. As it is a quietly lead by example venture (as with many things Davius processes each year) people regularly transfer such activities to their home fronts, or discuss it with friends/families/neighbours, quietly positively spreading word of mouth for others to utilise such positive measures.
The Dav Nursery1 is grid connected and uses electricity from Renewable Energy sources. Heat is produced from a small scale ground heat pump system.
The Dav Nursery2 is ‘off-Grid’ so relies upon several 12V PV charging panels which power up recovered lead acid batteries, this supplied lighting for when required. Heat is provided by a very efficient Jet Stove that utilises all waste wood on site which is not used for building projects or artwork. The Jet Stove boiler functions for space heating and water heating; for maintenance and cleaning the site – as well as heat for the Poly tunnels and other site requirements (like making tea/coffee!)
Part of the Davius CSR is to support over thirty organisations (Please see Network/Investment Portfolio) on a long term basis, supporting their practical activities and amalgamating their cutting edge methodologies alongside our own. Some examples include:
Woodland Trust – Joining their ‘planting days’ where new trees are added to existing ancient woodlands, or the growing of brand new woodlands.
Farmers Markets – Purchasing locally produced organic products, as well as telling other parties about the Farmers Market activities and ethos.
Energy Co-Operatives – buy in the green electricity and help support the schemes expansion with social media and networking event meetings.
Community: We engage with Neighbourhood Watch schemes and affiliate to the Police and Local Health Services where appropriate. We actively engage with local business in order to understand the constraints that they operate under, with which we suggest solutions to improve the situation.
Pre-School/Nurseries and Schools: Nature Area initiatives and supporting empowerment of young people with planting and maintenance skills.
Colleges: Supporting all 16-30 year olds into apprenticeships. Many young people in their late teens feel it is too late and are unaware of the opportunities and how many different apprenticeships and training programmes are available to them. Public access and public engagement is important to support our youth generation. With debt ridden present and future generations being a legacy of poorly thought out planning in present and past errors – there is a great deal to undertake to upskill the locale, national and international social systems we inhabit.
University: Long term relationship with several universities and polytechnics and supporting Innovation Networking and encouraging clients to engage in such activities. The ‘Widening Access’ is encouraged and supported to give people the opportunity to train in
Davius additionally believes in doing away with snobbery of what is classed as a ‘university’. As Universities are being now cited as possible civic centre’s now who should re-engage the locality (as universities originally had in the 19th and 20th Centuries) for skills improvement; we additionally believe that colleges and polytechnic titles should be reinstated. Such terms should be synonymous with ‘hands-on’ important skills and vital valuable applications of engineering, education/teaching etc.
On a social research level, the findings were significant on a citizenship levels in 2008-2011, with so many insights given by the 11-15 year olds – showing avenues of progression that Davius should investigate on a larger community level.
A significant sum would be required to expand such initiatives to a wider community, hence Davius is actively looking to work with other entities to support such social initiatives.
A policy transport hierarchy exists (similar to the waste and energy hierarchy) which depicts that;
No transportation use when communications use of video conferencing/email is applicable for meetings (is the World Wide Web sustainable though?)
- Walk as much as possible to different work locations.
- Use of push bike.
- Use of public transport – buses, trams and trains.
- Small engine vehicles of 1.0L to 1.4L engine & Car sharing where appropriate.
Should aircraft be the only option – consider how carbon is released into the air and how much can you counter with carbon absorbing measures.
Although many would scoff at this, decades ago – the recession is forcing many people now to adopt the above practices.
The concept of a ‘Paper free office’ is still some way off – although we have little paper output as the majority of work is executed digitally/electronically, much of the ‘paper/cardboard mountain’ we are responsible for are from banks, networks, journals, organisations, parcel deliveries, hardware deliveries etc. and many other
‘inputs’ sources. Paper/cardboard are part of our human culture and should not be discouraged 100%, often it is a necessity – yet should be utilised efficiently.
We strongly encourage as much ‘reduction point’ at the primary stage … namely did you really need to use that paper in the first place for printing, notes, copying? Again – it will be difficult and irritating to adjust to …. Yet any office place can do it. Persistence and outright tenacious processing will accomplish radical waste reductions in any workplace. It’s not an issue of replacing the ‘black bins’ with ‘green bins’ – yet how slowly you can fill the green bins up. The cardboard build up from parcel delivery are frequently reused for many processes developed in house which has improved morale and quality of work environment.
- No paper waste with personal or professional information is recycled – everything is destroyed by:
- Shredding (cross shredding – several clients complained strip shredding is still not adequate enough for confidential and sensitive material destruction)
- Then it is composted (on site green space has a composter built in!)
- Or incinerated through the carbon-negative Biochar unit and/or efficient jet stove innovative projects.
Such processes are driven by the increase in cyber and identity fraud that has grown in the 21st century. Initially difficult, this process has become second nature now, yet more importantly the clients have peace of mind that all contracts and work undertaken will be handled with maximum confidentiality. However in the face of consistent increases in e-Crime, many people and organisations still believe in good old fashioned paper and envelope communication.
We attempt to be as efficient with water as possible. We encourage simple methodologies in order to support the public saving water (and creating resources to reduce flooding and drought impacts) http://davius-sustainability.blogspot.com/2011/12/dreaded-droughts-furious-floods-humble.html
The office shower has a power efficiency head – this is available for people who use bikes for personal transport to work, project location and to client locations. Composting toilets have been voted down several times as a work place practice, hence economic water efficient/eco-flush hardware were more desirable options for water saving with the toilet use of low flush and high flush for disposing of human waste.
We do not claim to have the final answers, frequently on all fronts of the CSR we have found some technologies and practices to fail, which we have positively fed back to original manufacturers and producers. Everything we undertake is a learning arc which we actively embrace and encourage others to objectively look at their own work processes and reduce their respective social/economic/environmental impacts where appropriate. You may feel the measures undertaken are small, yet you will set an example which over time will have a cumulative positive effect for human progression.