Steering corporate responsibility – the guide for small and medium-sized enterprises
THE GUIDE FOR SMES
The CR Compass offers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) support in setting up their CR management as well as in preparing sustainability reports and progress reports in accordance with the requirements of the UN Global Compact.
Our online-based software was supported by the ESF programme and is available to our customers free of charge in its basic version.
Register your company for the access-protected platform and create sustainable competitive advantages, e.g. by reducing energy costs, improving your employer image, positively differentiating yourself from competitors or opening up new markets with sustainability-conscious customers.
Corporate responsibility is not an additional cost factor, but an investment in the future of your company. Contribute to a sustainable society and discover the benefits of sustainable corporate governance!
WHAT IS CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY?
Corporate sustainability or corporate (social) responsibility describes a company’s sense of responsibility for the effects of its business activities on society, employees, the environment or the economic environment. Despite its long tradition in SMEs, most companies have never systematically aligned corporate responsibility with their business activities – even though there is great potential for success here in the medium to long term. The CR Compass supports you in developing an SME-friendly CR strategy based on the following central topics:
ENVIRONMENTAL AND RESOURCE PROTECTION
Responsible use of the environment and its natural resources by avoiding negative influences (emissions, waste, raw materials) and expanding positive influences (planting, recycling ect.).
HUMAN AND LABOUR RIGHTS
Responsibility for employees and people who may be affected by your business, for example by protecting them from accidents, illness and exploitation and by creating better working conditions and opportunities
INTEGRITY & CORRUPTION PREVENTION
Responsible participation in shaping the market through targeted engagement against corruption and lobbying as well as through transparency for stakeholders and consumers and support for alliances against corruption.
Shaping society responsibly through social engagement of employees in the local environment of the company as well as through the manufacture of harmless products and responsible dealings with suppliers.
POTENTIALS WITHIN THE CORE BUSINESS
Corporate responsibility goes far beyond sponsoring and fundraising. Rather, the concept starts in the core business, i.e. where the company creates value.
Sensible CR activities and measures can both minimise risks for the company and better exploit important opportunities, regardless of the industry. However, the development of such strategies requires the analysis of the world value chain, because each area offers different opportunities for your company.
The interlocking of business and social value creation should not be underestimated. Measures without social value creation are not corporate responsibility, but merely “greenwashing” of your company. Measures without business returns are not CR either – they are pure philanthropy.
Only when both components are combined does true corporate responsibility emerge.
WHAT DOES THE CR COMPASS OFFER?
The CR Compass offers SMEs a platform for the implementation of corporate responsibility and the preparation of sustainability reports. In doing so, it supports recognised standards. The use of the software is free of charge and provides you with all the necessary tools to create a complete sustainability report. For extended needs and additional functionality, we offer a premium version.
The password-protected software provides practical support for the implementation of corporate responsibility in SMEs. Oriented towards the sustainability reporting process, this section contains tools on the following topics:
The simple menu navigation, a special training area including a learning programme and an interactive help system support you in using the platform. This is how the CR Compass accompanies you step by step to the sustainability report.
REPORTING IN THE SME SECTOR
Publishing a sustainability report not only contributes significantly to the public perception of your company, but also protects you from accusations of “greenwashing”. The report presents the company’s activities and achievements in the area of corporate responsibility and should include measured results in the form of key figures in addition to a description of the implementation. The CR Compass is based on the established standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (DNK), the German Sustainability Code (DNK) and the ten principles of the Global Compact. In this way, the CR Compass supports SMEs in producing high-quality sustainability reports based on one or even several internationally recognised standards.
The collection of CR key figures is also indispensable for SMEs. They can be used to track goals and control activities. The more specific the information on CR activities is collected, the better it can be communicated. To make it easier for you to start reporting, the CR Compass uses filter functions to pre-select a reduced number of key figures that are important for your company.
The reporting of CR commitment has become increasingly important since around the year 2000. What is already standard for large listed companies and mandatory for larger companies since 2017 is also becoming increasingly important for medium-sized companies. Transparency requirements of interest groups, investors or relevant actors in the supply chains often make reporting on non-financial key figures unavoidable.