CRS strategies in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) tend to be overlooked due to emphasis placed on corporate business. However, every business regardless of how big or small interacts with the environment and the community. Research indicates that almost 70% of organisations are SME in the UK and are the backbone of every community; they employ almost 50-60% of the population and directly influence societal activities. SMEs are the main stakeholders of many countries since they are labour intensive, nurture entrepreneurship, and support domestic production activities. Therefore, it is wrong to oblivious to the contribution of SME in implementing sustainable business strategies. Researchers have also argued that SME is more ethical than a corporate business since when they take CSR measure, they do it without public pressure or influences. Additionally, SMEs rarely get vigour inspections regarding their environmental standards and production methods (Fox, 2015).
As mentioned, the CSR measures and regulatory standards tend to concentrate on large companies, yet SME heavily interacts with the environment. Ensuring maximum transfer and use of materials from suppliers to the community can monitor resources in small and medium-sized enterprises. The SCR technique is called ‘business linkages’ and works by analysing supply chains, procurement, and subcontract activities to ensure maximum use of resources. Small and medium sized enterprises can relate to corporate social responsibility through three fundamental ways: by the relationship with the public, provision of employment and provision of goods and services to corporate business. Employment and public relation are referred to as independent CSR since the SME are the sole actors. On the other hand, the provision of goods and services to large companies is dependent on CSR since ethical responsibilities are shared between the two businesses. The corporate business will have to implement policies to its supplier (SME) to be socially and environmentally ethical. The explanations suggest that the buyers and SMEs relationship and market demand dictates the CSR approaches incorporated. The challenges that face SMEs in implementing CSR strategies include;
- The deficiency of resources required to implement CSR, for instance, lack of technology, information, training, subsidies and eco-friendly materials necessary to stop environmental pollution.
- Lack of certification, unlike in large companies where costs are spread across the operation. The scales of effect, therefore work against SME discouraging them to adopt CSR measures.
- SMEs may lack elaborate means of measuring, recording and assessing the impacts of the strategies.
Unlike large companies where owners and managers are different people, SME is managed by the owner and can ensure social and environmental compliance. The structure of SME increases the likelihood of ethics in promoting environmental protection and fair treatment of employees. However, more regulation should be instilled since SMEs tend to dwell on short term commitments rather than long ones. SME need more incentives to formulate and enact CSR strategies like corporate businesses are offered for a safer universe. The bottom line of bridging the gap in applying SCR in small and medium-sized enterprise is avoiding discrimination in supply chain requirements and encouraging corporate to advise SME on the required standards (Fox, 2015).
The methods SME can involve in sustainable management include partnering with other businesses to maximise the use of raw materials. For instance, the enterprises could share resources, recycle them, or waste products of one could be raw material to the other. The business could also invest in innovation and creativity to encourage workers to develop sustainable measures. Another importance thing SME can do is reducing unnecessary resources usages like regulating water and electricity use (Nibusinessinfo.co.uk, n.d.). SME can also involve the community in their CSR strategies by organising fundraising activities and obtaining direct services.
CSR in corporate businesses
Corporate businesses are highly targeted and addressed when it comes to its operations in relation to environmental and social sustainability. Large companies have heavy investments and always tend to produce large outputs to meet costs and earn higher profits. During producing and cultivating profits, resources tend to be overstretched and pollutants released in the environment. Excessive use of resources threatens the universe existence and pollutants compromise the health of workers and the public. Consequently, the concept of corporate social responsibility applies to govern economic, social and environmental factors sustainably. Large companies’ moral obligation towards the environment and the public is always in question due to globalisation. Corporate business needs to maintain sustainable operation for the better of the universe (Maldonado-Erazo et al., 2020). Corporate businesses are expected to have stable premises, observe health standards, use energy-efficient methods, and be socially responsible.
Reckless production and dumping in the universe have led to climatic changes such as increased temperatures, seasonal unpredictability, rising sea level, extreme weather conditions and increased floods and droughts. Today large companies have to minimise the use of resources, survive on the available scarce opportunities and meet the societal expectation. Today’s corporate businesses have to reduce resource use, reuse and recycle them if possible, and if unavoidable, dispose of them effectively so that they do not pose a danger to the bio-system. The corporate business also needs to be flexible to technological advancement and innovation to design products that will reduce pressure or serve as substitutes to natural resources.
Similarities and differences between CSR strategies in SME and corporate business
The sustainable measures in small and middle-sized enterprises and in corporate businesses are similar since they all interact with the community and society. In both cases, the stakeholders have ethical responsibility of ensuring a safe environment, proper use of resources, the safety of workers and public and meeting society expectation.
The differences in CSR strategies implemented in SME and corporate business originate from less regulation in SME and more emphasis on corporate businesses. SME are overlooked and denied resources necessary for enacting sustainable business strategies.
The Obstacles to organisational sustainability in business management
CSR barriers include difficulties in identifying and coordinating the organisation’s business model and sustainable approaches and extra expenses required for implementation of the policy.
Business sustainability is an ethical process that every organisation should attach significance. Business cannot operate without the environment and people, therefore, they should engage in appropriate sustainable activities. Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept that merges an organisation’s financial plans with the society and environment. Corporate business and small and medium-sized business have a moral duty to protect, nurture and maintain the environment.