Writers have influence. Readers value the words you write and will be impacted by what you say. If you’ve been writing for some time and want to take your writing to the next level, consider making it a priority to only support ethical companies — and refuse to write for companies that do not meet your standards.
In addition to deciding if you are the right person to write the story, you should also ask if the outlet you are writing is compatible with your personal beliefs. Things like unethical trade or manufacturing policies, a lack of value on corporate social responsibility, no support for fair trade, and OSHA violations can tell you a lot about a company’s values (or lack thereof).
By choosing to write for companies that support ethical policies and trade practices, you can indirectly support these values and make a statement to those who read your work. When you only work for companies that practice corporate social responsibility, you can truly engage in mindful consumerism and make a positive impact on the world.
Place Value in Corporate Social Responsibility
Today, corporate social responsibility is something that consumers demand. It is no longer something for fringe organizations to tout. Corporate social responsibility is for everyone.
According to Villanova University, “Efforts like volunteerism, environmentally friendly practices, philanthropy, and ethical hiring and employment guidelines have become key focuses for companies across the globe.” Businesses who fail to adopt these practices risk losing the trust of many consumers.
When businesses give back to their communities in these ways, they are practicing corporate social responsibility. Other things like practicing strong social media ethics, fairly compensating suppliers, and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace are signs of a company that has strong corporate social responsibility values.
Following the #MeToo movement, supporting companies that take sexual assault seriously is an incredbily important step toward everyone understanding what it means to be sexually assaulted and what actually counts as consent. Companies that cover-up incidents, put perpetrators “on leave” rather than firing them, or who don’t take complaints seriously need to learn and be shown that that kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anymore, and won’t be supported by writers, vendors, consumers, and everyone involved in their business.
You can support these efforts by giving priority for your writing services to companies who practice corporate social responsibility. When you come across one that does not, you can tell them why when you decline. Letting companies know that you will not be supporting them because of their lack of corporate social responsibility could encourage them to change their practices in the future.
Support Companies With Fair Trade Policies
You might hear the term “fair trade” get thrown about, but what does it actually mean?
Fair trade is a set of principles that entrepreneurs follow in order to prioritize the well-being of disadvantaged producers and the environment. People in developing countries are often exploited for insufficient wages and are exposed to many risks to lower production costs. For the same reason, unsustainable business practices have caused irreparable damage to the Earth. Companies who practice fair trade principles are aiming to change this focus on profitability above all else.
Supporting fair trade is one of the most important ways writers can contribute to the success of ethical companies. When you are starting the process of working with a new company, it is a good practice to inquire as to whether or not the company has a fair trade policy to protect producers, suppliers, and employees. If a fair trade policy is lacking, you can tell that the company does not value the hard work of those who help make it successful. If this is the case, you’ll likely want to take your business elsewhere.
Check Companies for OSHA Violations
How employees are treated, the conditions in which they work, and the health and safety risks that go along with supplies they source can tell a lot about a company and its values.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers resources to learn about the ethics of a company. When you are considering working with a new company, you can see if they have ever had any OSHA violations, like sourcing supplies made with asbestos or supporting unsustainable business practices.
Writers should do a thorough search to make sure prospective employers are not OSHA offenders, because most workplace-related illnesses or injuries can and should be prevented.
If you find something you want to know more about, it is more than fair to ask the company for more information so you know the type of situation you are getting yourself into.
You can find out a lot about a company through a little bit of digging and communication. When you find positive information, you can feel great about supporting ethical companies that are putting in the effort to do the right thing. When you find information that reveals poor business practices and a lack of corporate social responsibility, you can move on and let those companies know why.
Perhaps if more people valued and supported ethical companies and communicated with unethical companies about their shortcomings, more businesses would improve their ethics and practices to treat people and the Earth more fairly. While supporting ethical companies might seem like a small gesture, it could cause a positive ripple effect around the world.
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