Running a Business Ethically | Ethical Business Practices

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Ethical business practices referred to as accountable business, is easily applied to all types of businesses, whether you head an international corporation or a small business. There are many advantages as to why companies favour ethical business strategies: it attracts customers and clients, boosting sales and profits. Employees are more content within the company, reducing labour turnover and it attracts investors. Here are a few tips on incorporating these principles into your own company:

Go Green

This could possibly be the easiest way for you to help the environment and shrink your carbon footprint – whilst also reducing your expenditure on energy or waste. In recent years, the importance of saving energy and recycling within the home has become more widely realised. Why not practice this in your office as well? Turn off lights in rooms that are left unused and make sure that all computers or electronic items are off at the end of the day, including the standby light. This is not only a way to reduce your business’s waste and carbon footprint, but it will reduce your overheads and attract like-minded customers.

Set up a recycling scheme within the office or workplace and encourage your employees to use it. Don’t stop there, by purchasing recycled office supplies such as paper and cardboard, your company is reducing its impact on the ozone layer.

For example, CaféDirect is recognised for not only their ethical business strategies but also their environmental awareness. By having a direct relationship with smallholder farmers, they help them to produce more environmentally sustainable tea, coffee and cocoa that will end up reducing their impact on climate change. They also pride themselves on disposing of packaging responsibly and partnering with renewable energy companies.

Put It On Paper

Write up an ethical constitution and stick to your word. This document will ultimately outline the structure and purpose of your company. In this document, detail the values and ethics that your business believes in. Publish it on your website or include it in your marketing strategy so clients, prospective clients and other companies know of your values. A code of conduct within your workplace protects not only you and your company but your employees too. Write down the ethics and values that you want your team to acknowledge and abide by.

Reliance Bank (formerly known as The Salvation Army Bank) is highly regarded for its ethical policy. This excludes certain businesses from opening accounts with the bank. Companies whose main source of income is from sales of tobacco, alcohol, gambling, pornography and armaments cannot open accounts with Reliance Bank. Moreover, profits are used to further the Salvation Army’s charitable work.

Choose Ethical Services

It’s all well and good including ethical principles into your company but when you trade services with other companies that don’t share the same core values as you, your business is at risk of losing its credentials.

The government has set up a scheme where the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies decides if an organisation can be considered a community interest company (CIC). You can not only set up your own company as a CIC by following their guidelines, but you can work with other CIC companies.

Make A Donation

This could be anything from supporting your local football team to donating a percentage of your profits to a charity. Try and choose a charity that you might have a strong connection with. For instance, the men’s underwear company BawBags gives a donation to Orchid Cancer, a company that is dedicated to fighting men’s cancers.

Now that you are aware of how to become an ethical business, why not put it into practice? Aston Black Accountants can give you the best advice available. Contact them today to find out how they can benefit your business.

Photo Credit: d.norwood

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