In recent years, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a pressing issue for businesses large and small, local and global. With many governments creating targets for the whole state to become more ethical – both socially and environmentally, it is important to stay ahead of the game with the latest developments. By doing so, you ensure that your business has the ‘feel good’ factor for both your employees and your clients – an ethos backed by research published last year by the National Marketing Institute.

Becoming a Carbon Neutral Business

Much like reducing your carbon footprint in the home, reducing your business’s carbon footprint takes a series of relatively small and simple changes. The Global Carbon Project has recently produced a report for individuals and groups with detailed advice on reducing your carbon footprint, as well as a full discussion of the benefits. The simplest changes you can enforce include switching off electrical devices when not in use, turning down the thermostat by two degrees, and only using as much paper as is necessary in your offices, shops, and warehouses.

There are bigger changes you can make to your working environment to become an energy efficient business as well. These include replacing the windows in your branches with double or triple glazed panels to conserve heat, invest in energy-efficient lighting systems, or even installing solar panels. Not only are these better for the environment, but as a business you spend less capital on heating and electricity bills, allowing you to invest it in vital areas.

Investing in Green Research

As a business owner, it is important to remember that while you are providing a service to people and your ultimate goal is driving profit, you have a responsibility to your clients, your employees, and the wider society to be ethical. This is especially poignant when it comes to ecological responsibility: make sure that your resources are sourced responsibly, so you can continue to use them for generations. This leads me to the importance of investing in green research.

Throughout history there have always been new, better ways of doing things discovered, and this applies to business as well. The Guardian reports that the automobile industry, on its last legs during the 2008 global financial crisis, is on the road again as a consequence of manufacturers investing in renewable energy research to create more eco-friendly cars, including hybrid and charge-able vehicles. Information giant Google have similarly invested in forward-thinking green research, investing $1 million in wind and solar energy projects in 2014, writes CNBC, to accommodate for the huge amount of energy the company consumes. If there’s anyone to take business advice from, it’s Google.