Small business CSR: Balancing reality with doing good

Balancing small business realities with doing good

Abstract brightly coloured illustration that spells “GOOD DAY”.

With Good Deeds Day (April 11) just around the corner, we wanted to talk about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and how we’ve been putting this into practice at Moreton Bay Recycling.

This blog isn’t to toot our own horn, although it is nice to draw attention to the good stuff we do sometimes! Instead, we want to inspire others in the business community who want to have a more positive impact on their community, but don’t know where to start.

We all have a responsibility to make sure we do the right thing. But the research shows that CSR doesn’t just make you feel good about yourself. It can also have tangible benefits for businesses, like 20% higher sales and margins, 50% lower employee turnover, and 16% higher productivity.

That said, it isn’t easy to balance small business realities with doing good…

The realities of business

As a small business, being more socially responsible can feel like an impossible task. You’re already faced with a long list of things you should be doing. Many of those things are critical to the day-to-day operation, and if you don’t take care of those top priorities, you won’t have a business for long.

At the same, the reality is that every business will have some kind of footprint. Whether it’s a carbon footprint, the materials you use, the waste you produce, or (like us) the dust you produce. Your company’s economic, social, or environmental footprint will depend on the type of industry you’re in.

But CSR doesn’t have to be a big, expensive program that significantly eats into your time or budget. It can come from small changes that all add up to make a positive impact on your community.

Some good things we’re doing

To give you an idea of what’s achievable, here are some of the good things Moreton Bay Recycling do to help reduce their footprint and leave the world a better place:

Support the circular economy

The circular economy shown at Moreton Bay Recycling. Concrete waste products on the right being transformed into recycled aggregates on the left.

Of the 90 billion tonnes of primary materials extracted and used worldwide each year, just 9% is recycled. In order to address this gap and move towards a more circular economy, businesses of all sizes need to improve waste recovery practices and choose recycled alternatives wherever possible.

Our entire business model (sustainable concrete recycling) supports the circular economy by keeping waste out of landfill, and keeping virgin materials in the ground. We’ve invested in equipment and processes that minimise our residual waste to maximise resource recovery. In turn, this also helps with issues like illegal dumping, and is often more affordable for businesses, too.

Support local businesses

One of Moreton Bay Recycling’s family business customers, Michael, visited the yard to drop off some concrete waste and brought their son, Jayden, to check it all out.

As a small business, you’re much more aware of what’s going on in your local community than a bigger business. You have a real opportunity to make a positive impact on families through the people you hire and the projects you support.

Wherever possible, we support small, local, family-run businesses when we need to hire a contractor for Moreton Bay Recycling. At the same time, we play an important role as a supplier to many other local businesses, from smaller businesses to larger companies and their employees.

Plus, we happily promote and recommend many of the excellent local Moreton Bay businesses and tradies we work with. That way, they get more opportunities to work on local projects and to form partnerships with one another.

Support responsible business practices

Using a water cannon to wet down the rubble and reduce dust in the yard.

One of our biggest challenges at Moreton Bay Recycling is dust. While we can’t totally eliminate the dust (it’s a by-product of nearly everything we do), we work hard to minimise the spread of dust as much as possible:

  • We’ve strategically placed plants around our boundaries (scientifically proven to help with dust)
  • We do our crushing at night time to avoid impacting our neighbours
  • We’re mindful about timing for any processing that’s done during the day, to avoid strong winds
  • We use our water truck and water cannon to continually wet down the yard and keep dust out of the air

Plus, we’ve carefully chosen our location in a high impact area, zoned specifically for our industry type. That means we’re amongst similar businesses, which minimises the impact on our neighbours.

What good deeds can you do?

Whether you’re a small business, a consumer, a larger business, or even a council representative – you can do your part, too.

This April 11 for Good Deeds Day, reflect on your own social footprint – and the things that you’re already doing well.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as switching to a better alternative product or process, or choosing to support a small local supplier over a larger franchise. Small changes add up to make a big difference.

If you work with concrete waste or aggregates, we’d love to help you find a more sustainable alternative to your current practices and products. If you’d like more info on how we can support your business, give us a call on (07) 3293 4949 or pop into our Narangba recycling facility for a visit.

Hilary Dold, General Manager

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