1. Adopt a business code of ethics

A business code of ethics will outline employee conduct on issues such as ethics, values, environment, diversity, employee respect and customer service.

More and more entrepreneurs are choosing to go one step further by changing their governance document to include their commitment to social and environmental goals.

2. Follow a workplace health and safety program

Creating a clear workplace health and safety program will help you establish reliable systems to protect your employees and prevent accidents and injuries. It will also ensure you are compliant with government legislation on health and safety.

3. Commit to protecting the environment

Develop policies and practices that allow your company to fulfill your commitment to the environment. For example, you can consider producing a report that documents your activities and results as they relate to your environmental impact. Some companies produce broader “sustainability” reports, which encompass social, economic and environmental activities.

4. Get your suppliers on board

Ensure your suppliers know and meet your expectations of responsible behavior regarding issues such as fair pricing, for example. Screen them to determine their past conduct, and tell them what you expect.

5. Be smart about donating money

Get behind causes that are meaningful for your business. A forestry business, for example, might choose to support organizations that protect the environment. Many manufacturing businesses donate to community organizations in towns where they have plants. The idea is to give back to society, while at the same time sending a message about the values of your brand.

6. Don’t greenwash your business

Use marketing techniques that are fair and honest, and that reflect your company’s integrity. Avoid any advertising or communication that could be seen as manipulative or harmful to the public. Make sure you walk the talk and that your company does what it says it does, otherwise your company could risk a customer backlash.

7. Explore B Corp certification

Many public and society-minded entrepreneurs are choosing to get B Corp certified. B Corps are certified “beneficial” companies. Their purpose is to create value for society as well as money. They meet high standards of transparency and accountability, and create positive social and environmental benefit.

Beyond the certification, B Corp entrepreneurs are a movement of people who believe that business can be a force for good in the world.


Source: Business Development Bank of Canada