As a social enterprise business in the UK, it is essential to be aware of the different ways in which you can approach your social impact. Two key approaches are actively avoiding and passively avoiding.
You can also hear this content as it is a topic from my podcast.
Actively avoiding refers to taking specific actions to ensure that your business does not have a negative impact on society or the environment. This can include things like sourcing materials ethically, reducing your carbon footprint, and implementing fair labour practices. By actively avoiding negative impacts, you are taking an active role in creating a positive impact for your community and the world.
Passive avoiding on the other hand, refers to not taking any specific actions to avoid negative impacts. This can include things like not implementing a recycling program, not sourcing materials ethically, or not paying your employees a living wage. By passively avoiding negative impacts, you are not taking any action to create a positive impact, and your business may be contributing to harmful practices.
While it may be easier to passively avoid negative impacts, it is important to remember that as a social enterprise business, it is your responsibility to actively avoid negative impacts and create positive change. This means taking the time to research and implement sustainable practices and actively engaging with your community to understand their needs and how you can best serve them.
It is also important to remember that actively avoiding negative impacts does not mean that your business cannot make mistakes or have negative impacts. However, it does mean that you are actively working to mitigate those impacts and make amends when necessary.
Actively avoiding negative impacts is crucial for social enterprise businesses in the UK. By taking specific actions to create positive change, you can ensure that your business is making a positive impact on society and the environment, and living up to your social enterprise values.
Additionally, actively avoiding negative impacts can also bring benefits to your business. For example, by sourcing materials ethically, you can improve your reputation and attract more customers who are conscious of the impact of their purchases. By reducing your carbon footprint, you can save money on energy costs and improve your bottom line. By implementing fair labour practices, you can improve employee satisfaction and retention, which can lead to a more productive and efficient workforce.
Another important aspect to consider is transparency. As a social enterprise business, it is important to be transparent about your social impact, both the positive and negative impacts. This means clearly communicating your sustainable practices and impact data to your customers, employees, and stakeholders. By being transparent, you can build trust and credibility with your audience, and demonstrate your commitment to creating positive change.
So, actively avoiding negative impacts is a key part of being a responsible and successful social enterprise business in the UK. By taking specific actions to create positive change and being transparent about your impact, you can ensure that your business is making a positive impact on society and the environment, while also benefiting your bottom line.
Another important aspect of actively avoiding negative impacts is to continually assess and improve your social impact. This means regularly reviewing your sustainable practices and impact data, and making changes where necessary. This can include things like switching to more sustainable materials, increasing employee benefits, or expanding your recycling program.
It’s also important to consider the potential impacts of your business on marginalized communities. This means taking steps to ensure that your business is inclusive and equitable, and not perpetuating systems of oppression. For example, this can include ensuring that your hiring practices are fair and that your products or services are accessible to people of all backgrounds.
Additionally, actively avoiding negative impacts can also mean collaborating with other organizations or businesses to create a collective impact. This can include partnering with other social enterprise businesses to create a shared supply chain, or collaborating with community organizations to address a specific social issue. By working together, you can leverage each other’s strengths and make a greater impact than you could alone.
In conclusion, actively avoiding negative impacts is a continuous and collaborative process for social enterprise businesses in the UK. By continually assessing and improving your social impact, being transparent, and collaborating with other organizations, you can ensure that your business is making a positive impact on society and the environment, while also benefiting your bottom line.