This is Fever joins the O.R.B

This month, we became members of the Organisation for Responsible Businesses (ORB). Inspired by ORB managing director Jill Poet’s talk at the Essex Sustainability Fair, I have reflected on my own notions of responsibility as a business owner.

We want to become a really ethical and responsible business. Whilst we are a climate positive workforce and are taking other measures to reduce our impact on the planet, we know that there’s more to sustainability than a few buzzwords. Joining the ORB is an important step in our journey because it connects us to like-minded businesses, aiming to improve their contributions to the community.

What is the O.R.B?

The Organisation for Responsible Businesses is a national membership organisation focused on promoting ethical business practices. It focuses on SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and the impact that these smaller businesses have on the economy and society. The ORB believes that, in addition to the moral factors, there is a strong business case for operating ethically and responsibly.

The ORB’s mission statement is as follows:

“A responsible business operates efficiently and ethically; meets and exceeds legislation; and always considers its impact on people (the workforce, the community and society at large) and the environment”

We decided to join the ORB because this statement aligns with our values, and we are committed to operating in a way that has a positive impact on our community. In this spirit, we are proud to sponsor and donate our time to the Tom Bowdidge Foundation, and personally I have taken on the role of Group Administrator for the Colchester 17th Sea Scouts, as well as donating my time to the Colchester Roman Circus grounds maintenance. I’ve found volunteering to be very rewarding and a brilliant way to engage with, and learn more about, our local community.

Doing Good is Good for Business

Something we’ve found through conversations with our clients is that there is an expectation that taking measures to operate ethically will come with an impact on profit margins. However, the ORB’s website highlights the idea that “Doing Good is Good for Business”. The website mentions the potential cost savings that a business might face after reducing their energy usage as well as looking more broadly at the role ethics play in the economy. The ORB suggests there has been a shift in consumer culture where customers are increasingly taking a company’s values into consideration when choosing where to spend their money.

What Are We Responsible For?

It was the pandemic that first caused me to think seriously about the sustainability of our business. With the team working remotely and the general uncertainty that we were all experiencing, I was challenged to think about the way we operate our business. I became more conscious and aware of the impact the business has on its team, their families, and the wider community.

We reviewed and implemented major changes in our culture and internal values, as well as setting a more holistic and meaningful vision. This also meant looking at our impact on the planet and seeing how we could not only reduce our own carbon footprint, but help our clients do the same. We signed up to Ecologi to offset every team member’s energy usage and we now regularly fund projects that tackle multiple aspects of the climate crisis. We also switched our hosting over to data centres that are certified by the Green Web Foundation so that the websites we host for our clients are powered by renewable energy.

What Now?

We are proud of our progress, but we know that there is a long way to go. Being part of the ORB will help us to drive the responsible business movement forward and show our commitment to our values.

Ben Green
Owner & Company Director

Published by: Jay Tuckwell