People, Planet, Profit: Not Just for Big Businesses Anymore
The Triple Bottom Line for Small Business
First of a five-part series on Small Business Commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.
At Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs PLC, they integrate economic, social and environmental imperatives into their activities. This practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is part of the firm’s fabric. A multi-year development of a CSR policy has enabled the firm to practice what it preaches and facilitate the same for interested parties. The entrepreneurial spirit of this CPA firm is evidenced by its actions locally and statewide.
CSR is most often associated with larger companies (think Ben & Jerry’s, Burt’s Bees, Starbucks), but it is just as important to small and medium-sized businesses, as well.
The triple bottom line (TBL) is often painted as the three ‘P’s: People, planet, profit, or, the “three pillars of sustainability.” The European Union’s popular definition emphasizes that CSR is a voluntary commitment to society and stakeholders going beyond what is required by the law:
"A concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with stakeholders on a voluntary basis. It is about enterprises deciding to go beyond the minimum legal requirements and obligations stemming from collective agreements in order to address societal needs."
Why CSR? Many may wonder if the benefits of implementing a CSR policy outweigh the overhead expense.
• Enhance relationships with stakeholders: clients, staff, suppliers, etc.
• Increase customer retention
• Attract more investors
• Improved risk management
• Reduce costs from efficiency improvements
• Attract and retain a happy workforce
• Differentiate yourself from your competition
• Improve your business reputation
• Generate positive publicity
Davis & Hodgdon spent two years developing a reasonable CSR plan that can fit into any business’ long-term plans, as described in the firm's Community Works Summary.
The goal of the firm’s CSR Policy is to contribute to the overall well -being of the local community in an effort to produce a strengthened economy and entrepreneurial spirit. A vibrant local economy with engaged citizens will ensure the Firm’s continued success and profitability while producing a positive impact on the community.
No business operates in isolation. The components of the CSR policy are in place to manage the firm’s interaction with staff, clients, suppliers, and stakeholders with the ultimate goal of sustainability for all – the triple bottom line.
Click here to read part two: Employee Volunteer Program.
Click here to read part three: Charitable Giving.
Click here to read part four: Event Sponsorship.
Click here to read part five: Signature Partnership
John W. Davis and Bret L. Hodgdon, Partners, Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs