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‘Buy Social’ – helping to achieve your environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals

Blog from Mark Rogers, Executive Director at Corps Security

Ethical consumerism has become a big trend in recent years as consumers are becoming more concerned about where their money is going. And it’s not just individuals. Large corporations like PWC, Barclays, Johnson & Johnson and government commissioners are all pledging to spend money with organisations that are prioritising their environment, social and governance impact.

It’s now a boardroom level commitment for many companies to allocate their procurement budget with those suppliers that align with or complement their own ESG goals. Choosing to ‘buy social’, within the diverse supplier and Social Enterprise community, gives consumers and companies a transparent, ethical and accountable way to spend their money.

Diverse suppliers and Social Enterprise businesses range in size and are spread across a wide variety of sectors. To become a certified Social Enterprise organisation, businesses must satisfy several key criteria. These include proving how profits are distributed and invested as well as company ownership status and evidence of a social mission.

Social Enterprise companies are founded on a social or environmental mission and like any successful business they are committed to making profit. But unlike other businesses their profits must be reinvested or donated to charities or sustainability projects rather than paying dividends to shareholders.

Since our inception in 1859 Corps Security has followed our own version of the triple bottom line ethos, focusing on ‘people, planet, purpose’. Originally founded to help veterans returning from the Crimean war to find gainful employment to this day Corps still actively seeks to employ and support ex-military personnel.

In July 2021 Corps gained Social Enterprise status. Social Enterprise status brings many benefits. For our business it guarantees that our social mission remains at the very heart of all we do and ensures we continue to operate in an ethical, transparent, and accountable way. It also means our customers can increase their own environmental, social and governance credentials by choosing to work with us. My hope is that together we can achieve great things for our people and our planet whilst supporting our purpose.

In common with all other Social Enterprise Organisations, Corps reinvest profits back into the business, to support our people. We also make considerable charitable donations to create positive social change.

Combat Stress has been our preferred charity partner since 2015. This year alone we have been able to help fund 109 days for their helpline, which equates to 4,500 calls. 2,070 of which were new callers seeking help for the first time.

Furthermore, meeting Social Enterprise criteria earlier this year and joining the growing number of companies able to offer that ‘diverse spend’ option, Corps Security has recently been awarded the MOD’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award, in acknowledgement of outstanding support for the Armed Forces community.

Corps has also been a Living Wage Foundation recognised service provider since 2020 and are a carbon neutral company, funding projects across the world and offsetting 477 tons of carbon a year.

Buying from a Social Enterprise supports the creation of greater social value in local communities. By partnering with Corps, organisations are spending money that they would spend anyway, with the additional advantage of entrusting their business to an expert security provider that also creates tangible social value.

This visible commitment to diverse supplier spend, means our customers can build stronger community relations, operate more sustainably and do business with a more positive social and environmental impact. All activities that are included in their existing ESG goals. This in turn helps to build their brand reputation, by being more aligned with evolving consumer demand.

It’s a common belief that working with a social enterprise may be more expensive or will result in a lower quality service. On the contrary, working with Corps, promises no compromise – either commercially or operationally. Choosing Corps means you’re choosing to utilise your budget, not only to provide a highly competitive security solution, but to do it for people, planet and a purpose.

About Sarah OBeirne

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