Our services

We help Irish SMEs to realise the benefits of responsible and sustainable business practices in three main ways:

 

check up  1. Responsible Business Check-up

Your organisation is likely already engaged in a number of responsible business practices.

sustainable smes

A Responsible Business Check-up involves a two hour interview with your small to medium enterprise to uncover what responsible business practices your organisation is already undertaking and where are there opportunities to do more and reap business benefits. This review spans your business – from your engagement with stakeholders such as staff, suppliers and customers to your environmental footprint to how you support your local community. The output is a private recommendations report which identifies key strengths and cost effective improvement opportunities in the short to medium-term.

Cost:

SMEs serv (1)

The Process:

VFind out what’s involved: Read our ‘Introduction to Responsible Business Check-up’ guide for insight into what we do.

VGet in touch: Call our SME expert Jen Casey on 01 874 3847 or email jcasey@bitc.ie to find out more about how we can support you.

VAssess your organisation: An adviser will conduct an informal interview with you to assess your organisation’s responsible business practices. This takes up to two hours.

VCollate our findings: Our team will create a Check-up Report for you outlining your responsible business practices and opportunities for improvement.

VAction it: Once your Check-Up Report is complete, you can use it as a basis to create an action plan around CSR and Responsible Business.

 

You are eligible for the Responsible Business Check-up offering if:

VYou are committed to responsible and sustainable business practices

VYour company has:

  •  fewer than 250 employees
  •  less than €50m turnover or balance sheet figure of €43m

VYou are an Irish company and the headquarters are based in the Republic of Ireland. (If you are based in Northern Ireland please visit bitcni.org.uk)

VYou are a wholly independent company (not owned by another company or have a major shareholder)


 

Academy  2. Responsible Business Academy

Our Responsible Business Academy is our training curriculum offered to small to medium sized businesses on a wide variety of responsible business subjects. This ranges from introductory material around what being a responsible business means and how it can deliver value to your business through to how to be more environmentally friendly to how to communicate your responsible business practices to reap benefits.

Contact Jen Casey on 01 874 3847 or email jcasey@bitc.ie for more information on upcoming training events or check out the events section of this website.


 

Reasons-21  3. Membership offering

For companies with over 50 employees we also offer access to our Business in the Community Ireland membership streams. Depending on your business needs and priorities, whether you want to focus on making an impact in your community or you want to develop a comprehensive CSR strategy we offer three membership streams.

Explore this section to find the one that best suits your needs.

For any membership enquiries please contact our Membership Executive Joe O’Donnell jodonnell@bitc.ie


 

Frequently Asked Questions:

SME stands for Small and Medium Enterprises, but the term includes Micro enterprises as well. Broadly speaking, if your business has 249 or fewer employees, it is an SME. The European Commission defines an SME in terms of both headcount and turnover:

  • The majority of SMEs are micro. They have a headcount of less than 10 and the annual turnover is no more than €2million
  • A small enterprise can have no more than 50 employees, or no more than a €10million turnover or balance sheet figure
  • A medium enterprise is one with a headcount of between 50 and 250, and has a turnover of less than €50million (only 1% of SMEs are medium)

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – also known as Corporate Responsibility (CR) or Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS) – is the term most frequently applied to the voluntary integration of social and environmental concerns into business practice. It’s about being a responsible business. The EU Commission recently defined it as “the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society”.

Don’t let the name fool you: sustainable, responsible enterprise isn’t just for corporates, and it isn’t just about social outputs either. The business case for CSR is applicable at all scales, and its impacts can be seen in the environment, workplace and marketplace arenas, as well as social. The ideas are evolving faster than the terminology can keep up with, but when the potential benefits of engaging with them are so substantial, we mustn’t let ourselves be held back by an acronym.

While smaller businesses rarely have the same access to resources as larger organisations, there are many ways to can engage in responsible and sustainable business. As the European Commission has pointed out, “a large proportion of SMEs have always done things that could today be called ‘corporate social responsibility’, even if they do not know or use the term themselves”.

By taking simple, low-cost steps, SMEs can create additional value based on what they already do. For those looking to improve, we’ve compiled a selection of the best free online tools and tips to help you get started, along with a database of best practice to inspire you to take action.

In 2014, the Department for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation launched Ireland’s first National Plan on CSR titled ‘Good for Business, Good for the Community’ 2014-2016. In the policy document, it promised to encourage the development of CSR in the SME sector and support sustainable business models through public policy supports, such as green procurement and initiatives to increase SME access to public procurement.

Individually this may be true, but a recent comprehensive study conducted in the EU has found that SMEs are in fact cumulatively responsible for 70% of industrial pollution.