EnSite Corporate Social Responsibility

EnSite Corporate Social Responsibility

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” – Henry David Thoreau

Corporate self-regulation is a practice that many large corporations try to embody in their business practices: doing the right thing for customers, employees, and the environment is part of a strategic business model. Now more than ever Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is getting the attention it deserves because it makes good business sense. Larger corporate entities have power due to their size, financial statements, and representation in government to model CSR principles on a huge platform, and the influence to affect real change in how business is done.

But if that’s the whole story about CSR, then we’ve missed the entire potential of it.

Corporate Social Responsibility directly correlates to urban development, growth, and economic stability. Smaller companies and startups are seeing the economic potential and sustainable business growth that comes from adopting CSR principles.

For example, when a small business treats its employees well, there is less turnover and less expense in training new employees who simply “process” through the company and leave. When small businesses focus on creating an excellent product or providing an excellent service, clients tend to come back more and more. When startups focus on leaving a better environment and community for future generations, families tend to have a higher quality of life. The cumulative result is better life. But better life results in better business and stronger net profits.

EnSite was birthed on a foundation of sustainable business development practices. We wanted to create a company that could impact real change in local, regional and statewide business and development in urban land planning, landscape architecture, graphic design, and engineering. As one of the leading creative design and engineering firms in Southwest Florida, our passion has been to create the best livable spaces for a sustainable future utilizing the best business practices. Sustainable design is at the core of every project or innovation we develop. We believe that it is part of our own Corporate Social Responsibility to hold ourselves accountable for the impact we have in the community and the environment.

One of the most recent, widespread examples of a poor culture of Corporate Social Responsibility that specifically had a major impact on our local community was the housing market crash and foreclosure crisis. The government bailed out some of the biggest names in banking in order to help alleviate the crisis. Financial institutions’ execution of good business practices was flawed. Simply stated, the reason millions of people lost their homes can be attributed in part to a lack of Corporate Social Responsibility. Money trumped sustainability.

As corporations grow, the complexity of their business models can be a moving target. Having so many different levels of management and red tape can often distract from a company’s overall view of their corporate social responsibility. Many large businesses don’t spend a lot of time implementing their business guidelines. Part of the reason for this is that it can be difficult to track the financial benefits. Some experts say that “ethical” products are a niche market: virtually all goods and services continue to be purchased on the basis of price, convenience and quality.”*

There’s nothing more organic and grassroots than that kind of thinking. EnSite believes that our responsibility to any project is to ensure it is sustainably designed from the ground up with environmental, social and economic principles in mind. We’ve been beating the drum for years, and now clients are starting to understand and value its importance.

“Ethical” products may still be considered a niche market, but more and more consumers are willing to pay more to buy local and sustainable. Communities are coming together to support their local economies. And through the promotion of more compact, mixed-use forms of development, access to local goods and services has become more attainable to more consumers. Sustainable practices are the way of the future. We’ve been saying this for years, and finally people are changing the way they think about it. Our large and small business models must be re-defined in a way where corporate social responsibility takes precedence. Sustainable urban development and small business growth is the future of our society.

We’re proud to be leading the way. Come join us for the ride.

* http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/16/csr-doesnt-pay-lead-corprespons08-cx_dv_1016vogel.html

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