07/05/2008 - 22:00

Growing social awareness

07/05/2008 - 22:00

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At a time where increasing numbers of Western Australian companies are discovering the market value of corporate social responsibility, even more are beginning to unearth the integrity of their employees’ social conscience, according to St James Ethics

At a time where increasing numbers of Western Australian companies are discovering the market value of corporate social responsibility, even more are beginning to unearth the integrity of their employees’ social conscience, according to St James Ethics Centre executive director, Simon Longstaff.

 

Dr Longstaff said that, while corporate social responsibility provided a comprehensive framework for companies to integrate social, environmental and commercial obligations, the source and quality of what they provided was equally important.

 

St James is a not-for-profit organisation which Dr Longstaff said provided a forum for Australian companies to explore the ethical dimension in their daily lives.

 

Among the companies to practice these values is Kewdale-based office equipment supplier Corporate Express, which believes facilitating the veracity and reliability of its staff is of paramount concern.

 

The company pioneered the ‘power-of-one philosophy’ – place one order, make one phone call for enquiries, receive one delivery and pay just one invoice.

 

State manager Trevor Vyner said the core business of Corporate Express was giving people what they wanted, an underlying value that transcended making shareholders happy.

 

“What I’ve found is that staff are no longer concerned about turnover and sales, but are asking questions like ‘what are you doing for the community and the environment?’ before they are even hired,” he said.

 

“Prospective staff have more power to pick and choose their ideal place to be, so if employers want to be competitive they need to be able to offer more than just a pay packet, but opportunities to contribute to the community as well.”

 

Mr Vyner said satisfying those qualities had become a focal point for businesses in the face of tough competition for recruiting quality staff amid record unemployment rates.

 

In an effort to satisfy its workers’ social conscience, Corporate Express, which provides IT solutions, print services, promotional marketing, business furniture, facilities supplies and office essentials, has agreed to support the upcoming Red Nose Day campaign, organised by SIDS and Kids.

 

SIDS and Kids WA acting CEO Dee Taseff said Corporate Express would provide its “picking and packing” expertise to ensure the charity’s Red Nose Day merchandise was distributed to the public by June 27.

 

“Their staff are just fantastic; they come here and they are all really, really keen to help out and do their bit any way they can,” Ms Taseff said. “From my perspective, it’s the younger people who are coming in to the workforce and seeking out what it is they can do for the community. Corporations are getting involved, but it’s the staff as much as the businesses that are instigating it.”

 

Ms Taseff said picking up Red Nose Day material and packing it for distribution throughout WA was a costly and time-consuming exercise, which wouldn’t be possible without the help of Corporate Express staff.

 

“The orders we send out with all the Red Nose Day merchandise, well that all has to be packed by someone and who better to do it than a company with packaging expertise,” she said.

 

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