Every business is linked to the community and society in which it operates and it pays to act responsibly.
In a nutshell
Involving your business in the community isn’t just about doing the right thing. It means behaving responsibly, and also dealing with suppliers who do the same. It also offers direct business benefits.
Building a reputation as a responsible, sustainable business sets you apart from your competitors. And by acting responsibly by reducing resource use, waste and emissions you can help the environment and cut costs too.
What are the Business Benefits?
Positive activity in your community enhances the reputation of your business and a good reputation makes it easier to recruit employees. 78% of employees would rather work for an ethical and reputable company than receive a higher salary. And employees may then stay longer, reducing the costs and disruption of recruitment and retraining. They are also likely to be better motivated and more productive.
Shared community values help ensure you comply with regulatory requirements but it can also make you more competitive and reduces the risk of sudden damage to your reputation (and sales). Investors, including local authorities, recognise this and are more willing to finance you in your community as suppliers and customers to benefit the local economy. Businesses who support their local community create vibrant and resilient communities which benefits the whole of the local economy – your immediate market.
Being active in your community is also an ideal way to generate positive press coverage and present your business in a positive light. Evidence shows that 88% of consumers would be more likely to buy from a company that supports and engages in activities to improve society.
Why is it included in the Scottish Business Pledge?
Playing your part in the community brings benefits. Evidence suggests that ’giving something back’ can strengthen your brand. As part of progressive values, it can build trust and deepen relationships which, in turn, can attract and keep customers.
It can include a range of activities from formal community programmes to support for volunteering and supporting the local supply chain and labour market.
The underlying ethos is for companies to act in a supportive, responsible way. This means working to make a positive impact on local lives, as well as reducing the potential for less welcome outcomes in and around the community.
Why is this good for Scotland?
The synergy between social and economic policy is one of the cornerstones of the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy.
Working with the people and communities of Scotland to deliver the best possible outcomes is at the heart of how we will invest in, and support, local areas as part of the Economic Strategy. This is about building the resilience and capabilities of individuals, families and communities.
By being active in your community you can help to deliver a range of benefits in the area in which you do work in, potentially helping to tackle inequalities and social injustice and make it a healthier, safer, greener, as well as wealthier and fairer place.
What should I do now?
We want you to demonstrate your commitment to Scotland’s communities.
We recognise that arrangements for community engagement and development may vary from business to business. It may depend on the size of your business, its sector and so on.
Simply tell us about the ways in which your company plays an active, positive role in your community, underpinned by shared values and benefits.
These may include, for example:
- Supporting formal community activities
- Supporting volunteering by your employees
- Contributing to local, national or international charities or organisations (such as nurseries or sports clubs)
- Supporting and working with local firms to deliver your goods and services
- Recruiting staff locally and working with others to ensure you have the skilled workforce on your doorstep in the future
What help is available if I can’t make the commitment right now?
If you’d like to find out more about the simple ways you can turn good intentions into positive business outcomes, check out Scottish Business in the Community, who offer a range of practical ways for business to help tackle some of the key issues facing society.
As a business leader, you have a lot to offer the communities in which you live and work.