Many small business owners think that having a corporate social responsibility programme is beyond their resources of time and finance, and is only for big companies.
That’s not how D.C.Groves & Son, the Tenterden-based removals firm, sees it, and partner Anthony Groves, a member of Wealden Business Group, has embedded CSR into his company’s business plan.
Charitable support D.C.Groves supports three charities – Hospice in the Weald, Tenterden Lions Club and the Removers Benevolent Association.
Whenever a client hires the firm, they are asked to nominate one of the three charities, and the company makes a £2 donation to that cause. Modest? Yes – but it’s added up to around £2,500 over the past two years.
But it’s in terms of practical help for their nominated charities where the company’s contribution has made a particular impact. For instance, when Hospice in the Weald ran a highly unusual fundraising scheme, offering life-size, decorated horse sculptures for sale, D.C.Groves collected them from venues across the Weald, transported them to Tunbridge Wells for the auction, delivered them to the 25 winning bidders including Ascot Racecourse, and even sponsored one of the horses themselves in a campaign which raised some £90,000 for the charity.
Environmental responsibility All D.C.Groves packing cases are made from recycled cardboard, and as part of the firm’s environmental policy, its fleet of eight 18-tonne lorries and vans is being switched to cleaner fuel engines as they come up for replacement.
Industry standards Anthony sits on the board of QSS, the organisation which audits quality standards for the British Association of Removers (BAR), and the firm has a comprehensive list of European and UK quality standards certificates.
Says Anthony: “We decided to set up our own social responsibility programme after seeing a presentation at a BAR conference.
“We’re totally committed to it. It’s not just a question of honouring our wider obligations to the community, it’s something our customers have increasingly come to appreciate. So, yes, it also give us a business edge – win win!”