Yesterday I met with Peter Barretto, President and CEO of Torlys Smart Floors– a remarkable company where doing the right thing in terms of environmental and social responsibility is a part of their DNA.
While large public companies wrestle with what to do in this area, how to effectively measure the performance of their programs, and the degree to which it’s appropriate/possible to promote their community investments companies such as Torlys are bringing a level of commitment and passion to CSR that you don’t often see in larger businesses.
The challenges and opportunities related to measuring and improving the business impact of being responsible are the same for businesses of all sizes (i.e. improving recruitment and retention, reducing training costs, increasing competitive differentiation, increasing sales, influencing investors, and helping to define the brand).
However, in the SME context, company’s like Torlys may have an even greater opportunity to benefit from their commitment to being socially and environmentally responsible because the competition isn’t as a likely to have done as much, employees may not expect their employers to be active in this area, and consumers are primarily focused on the value of products and may be positively influenced by knowing more about the values of the companies that make these products.
People running SMEs should have a closer look at how they can best leverage their actions in this area and people in larger corporations should have a closer look at how some SME are operationalizing their CSR initiatives.