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Seeking Profits & Social Responsibility

Central Oregon benefits from socially responsible businesses. The Central Oregon Boys and Girls Clubs, Bend Metro Parks and Recreation, and United Way are only a few of the agencies that benefit from the generous contributions of local businesses. Business today not only needs to seek profit and provide employment, but also must act in a socially responsible way. Being socially responsible means considering profit, customer satisfaction, and societal well being as being of equal value when evaluating the businesses performance. Following are listed four domains businesses should be involved to be considered socially responsible.

In each domain a list is provided of things businesses could do to be socially responsible.

1. Enhancing the Marketplace. Responsible marketing pays back through increased customer loyalty. This could be done by:

* Making sure all claims about products and services are legal, reasonable, honest, and truthful
* Promoting the safe use of your products
* Using ethical sales practices and techniques
* Seeking marketplace opportunities that respect the rights of customer privacy
* Advertising in a positive manner
* Seeking marketing opportunities involving worthy causes (i.e. Pole, Pedal, Paddle and the Cascade Music Festival)

2. Protecting the Environment. Businesses can help avoid polluting the environment and be active in recycling. This could be done by:

* Creating a business culture that advocates a culture of reduce, re-use and recycle
* Buying sustainable products instead of one use products
* Donating surplus furnishings and equipment to charitable organizations
* Renting equipment that is only used occasionally
* Reducing the use of hazardous substances
* Promoting the safe disposal of hazardous substances
* Reviewing the amount of printing that you do
* Using energy efficiently (i.e. energy efficient lights)
* Promoting other energy efficient technologies
* Promoting sustainable commuting (i.e. riding a bike to work or carpooling)
* Examining and stopping the wasteful use of water
* Working with suppliers that are sensitive to environmental issues

3. Developing the Quality of the Work Force. Businesses can develop a quality workforce by:

* Providing on-the-job training opportunities
* Participating in the School-To-Work Alliance where businesses train high school students in a particular job or jobs
* Paying tuition for your employees going to college or to attend industry related training workshops
* Valuing the intellectual abilities of your employees
* Incorporating diversity as a core value
* Providing diversity training
* Establishing a strong policy against harassment and bullying
* Avoiding the development of policies and practices that interfere with family
* Promoting health, safety and well-being of employees
* Eliminating smoking from company premises
* Promoting healthy work habits

4. Being Involved in the Community. There are a variety of ways that businesses may be involved with their community. This could be done by:

* Making community involvement a priority
* Encouraging employees to volunteer on company time
* Recognizing employees for volunteering
* Recruiting locally
* Making charitable contributions
* Donating products and services
* Encouraging employee giving

I am certain that you can think of several local businesses that are socially responsible and do the things listed above. Bend is loaded with people and businesses that care about their community. Tim Hill can be reached at (541) 383-7712 for comments.

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