CEO Spotlight: Corporate social responsibility
The age of radical transparency
I’m delighted to announce that Connect Assist has once again achieved ISO 14001 accreditation!
Maybe that sounds like something that belongs in the depths of a filing cabinet, or just another logo to add to our website. So let me explain what it is, and why it’s core to who we are as a company.
ISO 14001 is the gold standard for green businesses – something we’ve strived to be since the inception of Connect Assist in 2006.
We were first accredited in 2017, and prior to that, we were certified against the Green Dragon Environmental Standard.
It means we have an effective environmental management system in place: a set of policies and procedures to make all aspects of our business more sustainable. It also means that we implement them!
The standard guides us in operating at that sweet spot where running a business intersects with valuing people and protecting the environment.
Corporate social responsibility and transparency
One of the beauties of standards such as ISO 14001 is that they keep us true to our core beliefs and values.
In today’s fast-paced society, being green or otherwise socially responsible can be the last thing on your mind, even though you might wish it otherwise. But if such principles are embedded into company culture, then those nice-to-haves become must-haves.
Accreditation, or a written statement of values, can also help organisations to find potential partners whose underlying principles match their own.
As the collapse of Carillion highlights all that’s potentially wrong with the public sector outsourcing to private companies, I believe that shared values could offer a new model for healthier, more honest and transparent collaborations across the supply chain.
Values cut across business strategies – such as low prices, high quality or niche products – and reflect what your brand really is.
In an ever-changing corporate landscape, focusing on your brand’s purpose, values or beliefs can truly set you apart.
Furthermore, your values should guide how you set your targets and measure your impact. Now that new technology is making ‘radical transparency’ possible, investors, partners and supporters want to know what drives your organisation – and expect to see the data to prove your effectiveness.
While corporate social responsibility is nothing new to Connect Assist, other companies are only recently discovering their consciences.
Partly, this being driven by millennials. Far removed from their feckless media image, millennials are more likely to research the issues that a company supports or use services from brands whose values they share. That boosts the bottom line of socially responsible companies, and piques the interest of the companies which aren’t there yet.
As increasing numbers of millennials enter the workforce, they’re bringing their commitment to social good with them and working with their colleagues to influence company culture.
They’re also seeking out workplaces with established credentials in the areas that matter most to them, such as environmental and social responsibility.
Our social mission
Corporate social responsibility is often linked to large organisations, but the truth is, every company can be a responsible business. It’s no good if a company calls itself socially responsible just to tick boxes, gain a certificate or impress potential clients. It must form part of a company’s DNA, as it does here at Connect Assist.
When we began Connect Assist back in 2006, we didn’t know much about ISO 14001. We simply knew that we wanted to give back to our local community.
That social mission has remained a constant throughout our growth.
Although we now work nationally, we retain the care and commitment of a local company. We provide meaningful career prospects and growth opportunities to our valued staff, both within our local communities and further afield.
And we do so in a way that respects people and the environment.
If our values resonate with your own, take a look at our Careers page. We love having like-minded people join us, customers use us and suppliers partner with us.