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CSR approaches become more accessible for VSEs/SMEs thanks to FACE Hérault

Information updated on 27/10/22

With support from Montpellier Métropole, the association dedicated to fighting exclusion organized a first collective CSR coaching session. The eight VSEs/SMEs that participated are asking for more. Here are some testimonials.

FACE Herault et les entreprises ©lemasmedia

FACE Herault and companies ©lemasmedia

Often due to a lack of time, VSEs and SMEs have limited access to the tools, methods, and support that would enable them to fully engage in a process of social and ecological improvement. In other words, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is often reserved for large companies.
With this in mind, FACE Hérault - a club of responsible businesses committed to fighting all forms of exclusion - has set up a unique program to help VSEs and SMEs get started, with active support from Montpellier Métropole. Local authorities are determined to pursue an ambitious policy to accelerate the ecological and solidarity-based transition in the area.
Established as a means to provide collective support, this program was presented during a first session involving AFNOR, Montpellier Business School, and the CSR coaching agency Primum Non Nocere. This included CSR training, self-assessment, and workshops to implement an action plan, in a concentrated format combined with financial support to help “remove the barriers related to the budget required to prepare a CSR approach,” says Caroline Cazi, Director of FACE Hérault.
From February to June 2022, eight companies in the metropolitan area selected based on their motivation participated, with the goal of being ready to launch their own program at the end of the session. The measure’s goal was achieved.
On September 13, when they received their certificate of participation in the presence of Hind Emad (Montpellier Métropole Vice President in charge of Economic and Digital Development) and Caroline Dufoix (Montpellier City Council member in charge of the Social and Solidarity Economy and the Reduction of Substandard Housing), CoAventure, Evolvia, Omnipub, Rafale/Igrec, Les Ateliers Saint Blaise et Saint Thomas, Spiriit, Studi et 8.2 France all confirmed – without exception – their desire to continue the work they started during the group coaching sessions. Several of them are targeting CSR certification.

“There is often a tendency to consider that there is a conflict between CSR and business efficiency. This would be a mistake. Quite the opposite: CSR enables companies to reconcile well-being at work with economic performance. The support we received has already had its first effects for our company, as it was particularly structuring,” highlights Françoise Nauton-Inglis, Spiriit’s CEO, who hosted the certificate award ceremony at her company’s offices.

This is because CSR certification offers companies many benefits. In addition to confirming their involvement with sustainable development issues, it validates the attention they pay to ensuring good working conditions for their teams and the good practices implemented with their stakeholders, notably suppliers, customers, etc. In turn, this helps improve the company’s image.

“All companies have difficulties recruiting. CSR actually makes them more attractive,” observes Emmanuelle Gorbatoff, director of Evolvia.

As this first session was so successful, FACE Hérault and Montpellier Métropole have already planned a second session to continue making the CSR approach more accessible to VSEs and SMEs in the metropolitan area. CSR for all!