What is Responsible Business?

ORB LOVES the success of small businesses. We sing the praises of ethical entrepreneurship and hope for flourishing micro and small businesses, all while advocating for responsible business practices. So what underpins this passion? We believe that “Doing Good IS Good For Business”.

Operating responsibly and for the wider good isn’t just morally sound; it’s also a smart business strategy. We recognise that the current capitalist system is flawed, perpetuating consumerism and a throwaway culture that harms individuals, society and the environment. Despite these challenges, we maintain our passion for small business success. We firmly believe that small businesses have the potential to lead the way in establishing new standards for a better society, regardless of how the capitalist model may evolve.

Whatever stage your business is currently at, if you seriously want to become a better and more responsible business you can start straight away. We recommend small steps. We do not necessarily expect our members to make dramatic changes overnight but to continually push the boundaries that will both improve their business and increase their positive contribution to society.

ORB’s tribe is made up of freelancers, micro businesses (0-9 employees) and small businesses that are passionate about leading with their values. Why not join our warm community where kindness is the key currency. We’re glad you found us.

Is CSR the same as responsible business?


Responsible business, often equated with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Corporate Responsibility (CR), transcends the boundaries of size, embracing businesses of all scales, including sole traders. While CSR has been marred by the misuse of large corporations, ORB champions a more inclusive approach, preferring the term “responsible business.” Genuine responsible business entails embedding core values into every facet of operations, rather than treating it as a mere checkbox exercise. ORB emphasises the importance of integrating these values into business plans from the outset, fostering a culture of responsibility internally and externally. Unlike traditional CSR approaches, which may focus solely on philanthropic activities, ORB advocates for a holistic integration of values, accessible to individuals and micro-businesses alike, without the need for costly and less appropriate accreditation methods.

ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance), if embraced authentically, is a comprehensive approach that is more aligned with responsible business principles.

ESG considerations differ for large corporations versus smaller businesses. In corporate settings, Governance focuses on how the Board of Directors direct and control a company. For smaller businesses, it correlates with a more ‘grass roots’ approach; essentially the systems that are in place to manage the organisation, meet legislative requirements, and ensure transparent decision-making and ethical leadership.

Organisations of all sizes should consider their environmental impacts, but steps that need to be taken to reduce negative impacts and increase positive impacts will always vary greatly according to the size and type of an organisation.

Positive social impact requires consideration for all stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers (including those in the supply chain) and the local community. For small businesses, a positive community impact often ripples through their activites unquantified.

Our Responsible Business Standard (RBS) certification guides small businesses through tailored ESG efforts, ensuring alignment with their size, type, and overall positive contributions.


Micro biz friendly certification options

Created by Organisation for Responsible Businesses (ORB)


Looking to take it up a notch? If you are interested in a robust ESG certification designed specifically for small businesses: visit the dedicated website to find out more about your eligibility, our course and the wonderful range of certification options including how to become an ORBcert.