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16 October 2014

The second year of the event „We do business responsibly“

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The second year of the event „We do business responsibly“ was organised by the Association of Social Responsibility on 2nd October 2014, during „European week of small and medium-sized enterprises in cooperation with the Netherlands-Czech Chamber of Commerce, the Association of small and medium-sized enterprises and crafts of the Czech Republic, and the National Quality Policy of the Czech Republic. Patron of the event was Robert Szurman, Chairman of the National Quality Policy of the Czech Republic, who christened the brochure called „TIPS and TRICKS“ – Social responsibility for small and medium-sized enterprises, actualy published by the National information center supporting Quality CR and the Association of Social Responsibility.

Representants of small and medium-sized enterprises, government/ministries and NGOs, met in the comfortable attic at the Embassy of the Netherlands in the Czech Republic. Lucie Mádlová, executive director and founder of the Association of Social Responsibility, moderated the whole morning meeting. The guests could enjoy a neck massage provided by a blind massage therapist from the social enterprise NOVIDA. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices were presented by UGO. A Welcome drink with quarana and raw food refreshment in bio quality produced without any chemicals considering human health and nature, was served by FRESBEDÝNKY.

Peter Keulers, New Deputy Head of Mission in Prague introduced the Dutch online program CSR Risk Check, which is useful for checking the risks of business partners round the world, developed and updated by MVO Nederlands. This information tool is related to the OECD guidelines for responsible business. In the Netherlands, it is also important and common to do business in line with the UN Global Compact which asks companies, NGOs, cities and other institutions to follow 10 basic principles focused on human rights, working conditions, the environment, anti-corruption measures etc., the UN GC Contact person in the Czech Republic is Lucie Mádlová.

We all agree that responsible business means something different for each of us, it comes from little things and each of us is motivated for various reasons. The important thing is that more and more people think about their utilization of things, time and abilities, more people helping each other, taking care of their surroundings, and seeing the need for personal responsibility to keep our future sustainable. Anybody can start anytime, even right now. This is a real example of the proverb „What you can do today, do not leave for tommorrow“.

The motivating speakers and their stories and best practice examples, were nicely complemented by the responsible program.

PLASTIA, uses plastics for manufacturing design products needed by humans. They focus on the long-life of the products, following ecological standards, employ people with handicaps, etc. Defective products are re-used. An integral part of the family business is financial and volunteer support of selected NGOs. Currently, they collect un-used functional flowerpots to be re-used.

ORIGAMICA, is a one man business who interconnects his responsible principles with business, family, his neighborhood, fun, gifts and profit. He does not divide responsibility between business and personal, he does not wait to earn more money to be able to help somebody else. He gives what he can, e.g. project 1 000 derricks for Jakub (in Japan, derrick means luck) helped Jakub to socialise in real life.

ECONEA, e-shop for everyday heroes.Provides an integrated range of environmentally friendly products for household and business. They help people to focus on small steps and changes in everyday life, encouraging starting with ourselves. All products offered online have a great ecological factor – they are made from natural and recycled materials, replace one-use products, save energy, decrease waste and support recycling, they are fully degradable in nature.

FRESHBEDÝNKY, the main principle is captured by the slogan „Grown with love, delivered with smile“. Not only for this reason Filip Říha and Veronika Mouchová got the EY title of 2013 „Business beginner of the year“. BIO quality is „normal“ for them. This is the type of growing functional for centuries – no chemistry, in line with nature. They personally check their suppliers and cooperate only with those who have a BIO certificate. They also communicate responsibly and with respect with their employees.

FOREWEAR, (winner Social Impact Award 2013) solves the problem of unwearable clothes. FOREWEAR promotes the idea that clothes have 9 lives at least, that is the reason they try to use them with sense. The clothes collections organised in corporates and schools partly help people in need, the rest are used for producing beautiful, functional and design products made in sheltered workrooms (covers for mobiles, tablets, diaries etc.). The participants received a gift – original diary, the result of the recent clothes collection.

HOBRA-ŠKOLNÍK, reducing of energy consumption is the ecological and economical benefit of this company. The company operating in Broumov is realy interested in making the working place nicer for employees and also for the locals, and they work on keeping the professionals in the region, and make the conditions attractive for those who are new or coming back to Broumov. Jan Školník, received the title EY "Responsibly useful businessman of 2013" for his activity in the Agency for Development Broumov region. The organization promotes the idea that it is worth living in small regions.

LMC, leader in the job and education market, they influence 25 000 HR. This company increased the employment of people with handicaps, age group 50+, coming from prison etc. They provide financial gifts, volunteer events, give their clients vouchers in some value by which the client can support a concrete organization, etc. Corporate responsibility corresponds with the personal responsibility of the employees, which was proved by research where almost half of the LMC employees confirm that they support some voluntary projects in their free time.

PALETKY re-use one-way pallets which are treated only by natural oil. They give new life to pallets by creating furniture, experience and they believe in saving the pallets. Paletky organise funny and socially responsible teambuildings and workshops, where you can make your own bed, table, chair etc. and save some of 185 mil. pallets liquidated a year.

The event was followed by the first year of „Prize for Social Responsibility: We Do Business Responsibly“ for small and medium-sized enterprises, family business and social enterprises.

Veronika Karásková

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