SME manufacturing companies move towards a more ethical way of doing business

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According to the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of a range of UK SME owners and managers, 81% of manufacturing firm owners say that their business is ethical.

85% of respondents answered that it was ‘very’ or ‘kind of’ important to be presented as an ethical company when asked; the remaining 15% felt it was not important at all.

Managing Director of the Industrial Equipment Division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, Steve Gee, says: “Over the past number of years there has been a move towards a more ethical way of doing business.

This ranges from being more environmentally aware, to implementing policies that positively benefit employees.

What is particularly encouraging is that the majority of companies aren’t using an ethical approach to business for commercial gain, with only 45% of company owners answering ‘yes’ to the question ‘do you think that in your industry being seen as 'ethical' would lead to more business opportunities?'”

The survey also asked to define what makes a business ethical. The preferred option was ‘A business that behaves with integrity’. The rest are as follows:

2. A business that puts the customers above all else

3. A business that demonstrates concern for others

4. A business that focuses not only on results

5. A business that has a values programme in place

6. A business that doesn't do business with certain industries

7. A business that has a CSR programme in place

Steve says: “Everyone understands ethics differently, but the consensus view from those surveyed was that integrity was a good yardstick of a business’s ethics, along with how they treated their customers.”

Source: Amy Best - Works Management

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