Looking at sustainability PR, one might get the impression that all the sustainability leaders are large multinational companies whereas SMEs keep ruthlessly polluting the environment, exploiting their staff and local communities.
Anecdotal evidence alone might be enough to quash this perception. But if SMEs may often be more sustainable than MNEs, where are the reasons for them not getting more involved in CSR?
- They lack the budget: Quite simply, it is way easier to dedicate some money to sustainability if you are big. And this does not only apply to PR. Sourcing cleaner and ethically verified products may cost money. If you do not see clear benefits of doing it, you might well just forget about it. You need to be convinced your customers are willing to pay more too.
- They lack bargaining power. Monitoring your supply chain for environmentally or socially damaging practices not only costs money but also requires you to be able to impose standards on your suppliers. Whilst the small ones might be better at finding smaller amounts of truly sustainable inputs, the big ones are more likely to be able to insist on certification or inspection.
- They are put off by complexity: It used to be easy to do something good, right? You identified someone you could help and made life better for them. Whilst you can still do this, it might be perceived as a simple act of philanthropy, even hypocrisy, not proper CSR. Companies are expected to transform themselves, and this can only be done strategically, observing a set of recognised indicators such as the ones required by the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive.
Here is the solution:
Using tech to introduce sustainability to companies can change this. Aphaia’s new web tool that combines CSR strategy, cost-benefits analysis and reporting standards can be the first step for the companies that want to do well by doing good. Remember, many SMEs are already doing it right or would be happy to take their efforts further, but simply find it to be too much hassle to include it high on their agenda.
You can book a demo by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
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