Can business actually have a positive impact on the world?
We all know the harm big bad corporations can do, but not all businesses are the same, promise. The landscape is changing, with conscious investors now wanting to put their money in the hands of more ethical organisations. The new Scottish stock exchange being currently developed is even using positive social and environmental impact as an entry requirement for firms wanting to join. What does this entail? Well we'll tell you just a few ways businesses can be a force for good in this chaotic modern world.
There’s more than one way a business can have an impact on their workers and wider community. Making the people involved in their organisation happy is a fab place to start. WHO declared that organisations have a responsibility to promote wellbeing in employees, their families, and their community, all the way back in 2005 (the year Destiny’s Child broke up, can you believe?). Treating employees well and having them feel fulfilled is the beginning of a great business. Don’t believe me? Forbes does.
But organisations can also make an effort to have a diverse workforce, with employees of different genders, ages, ethnicities and sexualities (to name but a few). This not only benefits the business by diversifying thought and creative processes, but can be the beginning of wider change in society.
Need an example? Women gained the right to vote in Britain in 1918. A major factor in this was their contribution during the war by taking over the jobs of men who were away fighting. By grafting and raising families at the same time, they were able to demonstrate that they were far more capable than some of society believed. Boss babes, in every sense of the phrase. Proof that giving everyone the chance to show what they’re made of in the workplace can shape society as a whole.
But there’s a long way to go still. Did you know that more Fortune 500 companies have CEOs namedJames than there are women employed in the role? Let’s change that.
Behind closed doors, all sorts can be going on in the supply chain of a business, whether it’s manufactured goods or food (check out Nestle’s shady statements). But with a bit of transparency, an organisation can make a statement by making a commitment to working only with ethical suppliers. Big brands like Co-op have been built on this ethos, with mutually beneficial arrangements with Fairtrade Farmers and responsibility for the treatment of workers being a big drawing point for customers. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to where our products really come from, and we love it when businesses know this too.
While we’re all trying to do our bit for the environment by recycling and all that jazz, big business isn’t exactly doing wonders for our planet (shoutout to David Attenborough and his latest doc for reminding us how important it is). But steps made by manufacturers are super important in mitigating the effects of global warming and moving towards more sustainable practices. And to be fair, some already are. By embracing cleaner sources of energy (like solar, cheeky self-shoutout for PAL), aiming towards zero waste (like Unilever), or donating a percentage of profit to charities (like Big Wild Thought, a clothing brand mentioned in our other blog post on some socially conscious companies.
At Power a Life we firmly believe that a business can be built around something good, like a top notch product and empowering people less privileged than us with the profits. You can help us achieve our goal as an organisation making a positive social impact when you buy a power bank and in the process gift a child in Africa a solar-powered light and the opportunity to reach their potential in education.