Sustainability 101

Disaster Response As Part of CSR

With cleanup under way from hurricane Sandy, it is a good time to assess what you can do to help now and in the future. Disaster relief and response should be a part of your corporate social responsibility program.  This will allow your company the opportunity to reach out and make a difference in the community. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Be prepared. Review your company emergency plan and encourage employees/tenants to get disaster training.
  • Donate to an organization like the Red Cross; set up a donation matching program if you don’t have one. And remember, while cash contributions are most useful, donations can also be of skills and resources, such as offering the public areas of your offices for use as staging areas.
  • Work through your employees/tenants to see if they already have relationships with nonprofits that can help.
  • Keep your employees/tenants informed about what’s happening and have management lead by example.

If you are in an affected zone, remember cleanup will take time and your trash pickup and recycling services may be affected.

  • If possible, consider composting the large amount of leaves and organic debris that you will no doubt find on your premises, if this service is available in your area.
  • When rebuilding, consider using deconstruction to salvage and reuse pieces of existing structure if possible. Select only materials that have their original integrity.
  • Encourage remote working or telecommuting to decrease commuting congestion, or ask employees to consider carpooling or biking to work when possible.

Remember, many of the above tips apply even outside an emergency situation.

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