Mentorship and 10% more CSR in the workplace

Last Wednesday I was walking back to the Underground Station from the first lunch with my mentee, when I noticed that the Smog that has been hanging in Beijing for days, also lingers in the Underground hallways: and it’s quite eerie to see it hanging there.   And it makes you wander what else is ever needed before dramatic measures will be taken here to change the scene.

Whatever the Government can do, another thing is what every individual can do to make a difference in their own workplace; be it as a School teacher telling kids to make a difference, or an engineer giving good advice in a factory, or someone at a University doing research.. Every workplace counts.  And some people like me advise them to do so, or people work in an NGO to promote the right changes.  But we are the minority; the big change comes from the regular workforce, the industries working together and the Government taking action.

But if you work in a regular job, it’s sometimes hard to see what you could do to make a change for the best in CSR: and maybe you think, shouldn’t I be working in an NGO, or a social enterprise where I can work every second of day on responsible business actions?

Last Wednesday some of my discussions with my mentee were about these issues:  I won’t go into detail because of the nature of the mentorship, but it did help me think about and to strengthen my vision on CSR in the workplace:  my initial advice to my mentee was not to switch too soon to an NGO or more socially responsible job, but to work on making the work that was going on, more sustainable: what could be done there and then? And what if you could change 10% of your time the coming three months into thinking and talking and taking action on it on a (new) CSR strategy for your workplace?

10% of your time is 4 hours a week:  that could be…

  1. 4 hours to discuss this with colleagues and your management team,
  2. 4 hours to look for new, sustainable business opportunities: 
  3. 4 hours to think and handle to reduce the carbon footprint of your company (measuring first where the big difference can be made!)  

 What a difference it could make.

The mentorship will be ongoing till June, and my mentee and I are looking forward to see what she could do in the coming months on this, she is ambitious and entrepreneurial enough, a great start for making a better CSR strategy in her own workplace!