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Get clear on what sustainability means for your business and develop a roadmap to success

Create a crystal clear corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach tailored to your business in one afternoon.

Cover image of DIY guide

You need a sustainability strategy if:

  • You’ve seen headlines like ‘sustainability is the new black’ and competitors touting their ‘ethical’ credentials, and you’re concerned you’re missing out on business.
  • You supply to large businesses who are introducing Supplier Codes of Conduct or Sustainability Questionnaires and committing to only work with suppliers who meet their CSR standards.
  • You’ve brainstormed a list of CSR or environmental initiatives a mile long and you’re overwhelmed by the work required.
  • You don’t know the first thing about sustainability or CSR, how it applies to your business, or where to start. 
  • You want to make sure you’re approaching CSR the right way, taking smart actions based on a robust process.

Small business? Micro business? Start-up? Service provider?

Yes, you still need to be able to show how you are a responsible business.

If you don’t have a plan for sustainability or social responsibility, you’re missing out on enormous opportunities to attract customers, engage your employees, reduce costs, and make a difference in your community.

You need a sustainability strategy that helps you focus your limited time and money on what’s really important, i.e. what has the greatest return on investment for your business, society, and the environment.

I know that sounds like a big undertaking. So I've developed a simple, 4-step process that makes sustainability easy. It takes best practice CSR approaches and boils them down to a simple to follow exercise that results in a clear and concise CSR strategy, policy and action plan that you can share with your customers. 

By working through the questions, you will be able to:

  • Identify how sustainability aligns with your business values, strategy and success
  • Understand your business’ impacts across people, planet and prosperity (the triple bottom line)
  • Identify what issues are important to your customers, employees and other stakeholders
  • Articulate an inspiring CSR vision and objectives that are specific to your business and its unique influence
  • Identify strategic business opportunities through differentiation and new markets
  • Focus your limited time and money on what is most important and material to your business and stakeholders
  • Establish relevant targets and policies that drive change, and an action plan you can stick to
  • Communicate your sustainability approach to employees, customers and the community.

It has been developed in consultation and tested with small businesses like yours to ensure it is straightforward and jargon-free! 

Get clarity on where to focus and write your strategy, policy and action plan in less than a day.

What do you get?

The guide includes 4 modules that each develop one component of your CSR strategy.

Vision

Focus areas

Action plan

Implementation

It’s delivered as a fill-in workbook with a series of questions and exercises, guiding you through each task and decision that come together to create a final strategy document.

This guide is specially designed for small business, with the following in mind:

  • Simplifies the process for those who are new to sustainability 
  • Recognises efforts and initiatives already in place - you're not starting from scratch!
  • Helps small businesses focus their limited time and money on the actions that will create the greatest benefit to the business, environment and community
  • Aligns with international guidance around materiality, which means your customers can have confidence in your robust, best practice approach
  • Provides templates to get your CSR documents in place as quickly as possible.

Frequently asked questions

Why are customers demanding sustainability?

Everyone is expected to act responsibly, especially businesses, and small businesses are no exception. People around the world are increasingly concerned about environmental and social issues, recognise the power of their dollar as a consumer, and want to purchase from companies that align with their values or are actively solving sustainability problems. This pressure has also driven large businesses to more closely manage what’s happening in their supply chains in order to ensure their suppliers are acting responsibly and won’t cause a PR disaster if they’re found polluting the environment, using slavery, committing fraud, etc.

Wait, I thought sustainability was about the environment?

Sustainability is generally considered in terms of three pillars – environment, society and economy (or people, planet and profit, also called the triple bottom line). Sustainability is the end goal of sustainable development, which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Environment is an important component of this, but not the only one. Social responsibility (or corporate social responsibility, CSR) is a business’ contribution to sustainability. You can see more definitions on the glossary page.

Who is this guide relevant for?

Any micro, small or medium size business, in any industry, that wants to be a more responsible or sustainable business, but doesn’t know where to start and needs a clear path to action. It is especially useful for those who supply to other businesses (B2B) and need to meet supplier requirements (e.g. a Code of Conduct) and/or a supplier assessment questionnaire.

What do you know?

I spent the last 15 years helping larger businesses and government to become more socially responsible and integrate CSR into their practices. I have run training for hundreds of CEOs and sustainability managers with Cambridge University on how sustainability is relevant to their business strategy and how to effectively manage it. I specialise in supply chain management, helping dozens of organisations (possibly even your customers!) to establish requirements and assess their suppliers’ CSR performance. See more about my qualification here.

How long will this take?

The process can be completed by one person in an afternoon, i.e. in 3-4 hours. However I recommend you involve others through consultation and workshops to ensure the strategy is well considered and starts with strong support.

How much work after that? When do I get to call myself a responsible business?

Sustainability is like perfection. We know no one is 100% perfect, but the goal is to keep working toward it. A responsible business is one that is working in good faith on a robust strategy that addresses its key impacts and opportunities, even if it hasn’t achieved its goals yet. This guide is designed to give you fast progress with some quick wins, so if you’re just starting out in CSR you’re actually lucky because there’s plenty of low-hanging fruit!

Don’t waste any more time researching how to be a sustainable business and getting lost in all the conflicting guidance out there. You have nothing to lose.

Get a robust and laser-focused strategy you can share with your customers in one afternoon.

Want a little more support and confidence in your strategy? You can also have Small Mighty CSR complete the roadmap with you over the course of 4 workshops facilitated with your team. See more about Our Sustainability Roadmap Service.

You can also have your CSR/Sustainability Strategy reviewed by Small Mighty CSR to confirm the focus areas, objectives, targets and actions are the most relevant for your business, as well as offer additional suggestions to support your action implementation. Click the link in the email you receive with the toolkit to access this service for just $149.

Small Mighty CSR is a new resource helping small businesses to meet their customers’ expectations and implement sustainability and social responsibility. I am continuously developing further templates, tools and guidance to meet your needs.

I’m here to help you, so if there’s something you’re looking for, I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to contact me or fill out this simple survey.

Or check out these resources to learn more about sustainability in your business

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