14 great ethical service providers to make your business better
Bored of paintballing and Pret? So’s the whole office! Never fear, there are lots of fantastic service providers out there, hoping to make the 9 to 5 a bit better for everyone. Let's take a look...
Sun 17 Feb 2019
Businesses have known for a while the value customers put on an organisation’s ethical or environmental credentials. But is in office recycling and Fairtrade coffee good enough, asks Ella Wiggans, co-founder of ethical marketing agency, Good Beans.
Consumer behaviour is experiencing a seismic shift right now with sales of ethical goods and services valued at over £81.3 billion.
Whether you are fully established or just starting out, you can show your customers how much you care by making some simple changes, from who you bank with to where you buy your lunch.
Read on. Here are some of my favorite ethical service providers to make your business a bit better, for your staff and our society.
If you’re a social enterprise or startup, the chances of being able to afford your own office are pretty slim. Co-working is a great option, particularly for making contacts in your field, however it doesn’t come cheap. Theatre Deli based in London and Sheffield, competes with the best of them by offering fixed desks to artists, creative charities and social enterprises and a 10% discount at their cafe / bar (we highly recommend their honey & chorizo cheese toasty too).
I make sure we bank with Triodos, whose mission is to create a society that protects and promotes quality of life for all. For over 30 years, they’ve been financing individuals and organisations who use their money in ways that benefit people and the environment. So far their impact includes: 300m meals created each year using produce from the organic farms they finance, 1.4m households with access to green energy due to the projects they finance and 53,000 elderly people across Europe using the care homes they finance.
There are also some really exciting ethical finance organisations that make sure your investments fund valuable projects as well as make sizable returns. We love Shared Interest, who aim to alleviate poverty by helping people in remote and disadvantaged communities to trade and earn a living. As well as a portfolio of investment opportunities, they offer business loans that help you and other traders all over the world.
Discover other ethical finance options here.
Whether you are on a ‘Green’ tariff or not, if you’re plugged into the mains it’s all the same mix of energy. Ecotricity Business tariffs use their profits to build windmills and sun parks that work to actively increase the renewable electricity fed to our homes.
For a more indepth look at your renewable energy options, read our essential guide here.
If you’ve got a business, you’re going to need to shout about it. We call ourselves an 'ethical marketing agency' because we offer affordable communications to organisations that are working to improve society in one way or another. We often employ social enterprises for client work and are planning to become a Community Interest Company ourselves.
Capital Law has provided legal services to social enterprises for over 10 years. Responsible business is at the heart of what they do and one of their Senior Partners is the Prince of Wales’s Responsible Ambassador for Wales. They are also an active member of Business in the Community, hosts of “Heads Up” meetings for charity heads in Wales and have experience, knowledge and understanding of the aims and values of social businesses.
Working late? Too Good To Go is a brilliant app that helps you find surplus food that’s being thrown away at the end of the day, so you can help reduce food waste and get a great meal at a lower cost at the same time. Available all over the UK and expanding quickly across Europe too.
Phone and broadband
The Phone Coop offer competitive business broadband, cloud communications and mobile. We love them because they work to a stringent ethical policy, offset their carbon emissions and invest their profits into community organisations.
Fairphone are the world’s first ethical, modular smartphone. They are made using conflict free minerals, invest their profits back into the community and charitable causes and their modular design makes it easy to repair, making your phone last longer.
Want to offset your own carbon emissions, click here to find out how to start.
Film has fast become an invaluable marketing tool for businesses big and small and is something our clients very often ask us to deliver for them. We love working with Mediorite, a social enterprise that trains young people and creates paid work for them. Catch Creative is another social enterprise production agency that gives its profits to Catch21, a charity that enables young people to be a bigger part of their communities.
Don’t take the team paintballing again. Why not contact some local charities or community groups and offer the services of your team for the day? It’s a great way to bring your team together around a common goal and meet some people in your community.
We’re incredibly proud to be supported this year by Allia on their Serious Impact Incubator. They help startups who care about their impact to get ahead via workshops, mentoring and one to one support. We're on the London cohort, but they also run programmes in Cambridge and Peterborough.
You spend one third of your life at work, so it goes without saying how important it is to our lives and happiness. In the UK, work related stress, anxiety and depression affects over half a million people each year and is the cause of 12 million working days lost.
Birmingham based Wellbeing SOS, tackles this problem by supporting organisations to build effective mental health and wellbeing strategies which will be embedded into working practices and organisational culture.
I'm always on the look-out for ethical service providers for our own business. If you know a great supplier we should be using, send me a tweet.
Good Beans is an ethical marketing and communications agency working with social enterprises, charities and organisations that want to be better. Want to reach more people? Get in touch.