With growing global awareness of climate change and pollution, there is a burgeoning demand for corporate responsibility. Businesses are looking at how they can reduce waste, cut carbon dioxide, recycle and use sustainable practices, even when it comes to corporate gifting.
This is not merely beneficial from a philanthropic point of view, but it can greatly affect the business itself. There are actually many reasons for companies to go green.
You will see huge benefits from running an eco-friendly business. Profit margins can be increased as customers vote with their wallets – buying from responsible businesses when possible.
From a marketing standpoint, responsible companies are given better media coverage which boosts their public image. This is likely to inspire customer loyalty. Responsible businesses are also more likely to attract investment.
This means that it is crucial for businesses to keep this in mind when gifting products, to customers, members of the public, and employees. Whether it is for promotion or celebration, a great gift will be eco-friendly, plastic-free, sustainable, or recycled.
Top 10 sustainable gifts
Of course, what gift you choose will largely depend on your business’s personal budget. Small businesses may have a smaller budget, which means they may have to adhere to a cost-effective promotional campaign. Luckily, there are plenty of choices out there for sustainable corporate gifting. You can try offering plastic free and other eco-friendly gifts. Some ideas are listed below.
Businesses may have a higher budget to reward employees when they have received special recognition. Such as being the top salesperson for example. If you’re considering a gift for your employees, why not consider these eco-friendly examples?
1. Virtual Gift Cards
Rather than buying employees a plastic gift card, businesses can buy virtual gift card which offer a safe and sustainable way to pay for things online. Also, with this kind of gift, the recipient can decide what to buy for themselves, so you can rest assured that whatever they choose won’t end up as an unwanted gift in a landfill.
2. Wireless sustainable earbuds
Built from recycled materials with durability in mind, these are a perfect eco-friendly gift. Some companies such as House of Marley even put some of their proceeds into reforestation efforts.
3. Sustainable watch
Watches are a time-tested way of celebrating employee contributions. Now, this gift can be maded in an eco-friendly way. Tom Fords Ocean Plastic Watch uses recycled materials. In this case, it is made with materials that are 100% recycled from ocean waste.
Promotional gifts are physical items that can be given away on mass, to help promote business. These items are often cheap to buy in bulk, and cheap to brand with logos and website links. This gives potential future customers a physical point of contact with your brand.
Common promotional gifts that can carry the company logo include customized lapel pins, stickers, mugs, T-shirts, keychains, coasters, etc. To customize these promotional gifts, you can choose environmental-friendly materials, which are not only low in cost but also highly communicable.
4. Environmentally friendly notebooks and pens.
These are great marketing tools as notebooks and pens are something that many people use. It is easy to put company logos and business information on the product, and it is likely to be seen in use. Pens for example are often moved around and borrowed by multiple people, meaning more eyes on your business.
They are often made from recycled materials. You can even boost your green image by swapping pens for plantable pencils. These contain plant seeds meaning the pencil can be planted in soil when finished to grow new life.
5. Non-plastic BPA-free water bottles or cups
Plastic water bottles are one of the largest polluters on earth because over 80% end up in landfills. Each bottle takes up to 1000 years to decompose also. This is why re-usable bottles are a great on-trend gift idea.
These can again be customized with company logos and details. They can be made of recyclable metal products that have the added benefit of maintaining heat or cold.
Or for the coffee drinker that prefers a more traditional cup, bamboo is an excellent choice.
6. Eco-friendly phone cover
It would be a hard task to find someone who does not use a mobile phone in 2022. This again makes it a perfect marketing tool, as a phone case can display your business each time they make a call, or use their phone, whether in the office, commuting, or at the gym.
Recycled material can reduce waste, while a compostable case will stop any waste in the future.
Branded seed packages are a great way to promote your businesses. It also lets customers think you are actively helping them to contribute to a greener planet.
8. Sustainable bags
Firstly, sustainable bags are a great way to bundle other gifts together. Bags are also a versatile gift option. They come in a variety of styles such as shopping bags, handbags, or backpacks. The variety of bags can also be reflected in the pricing. From basic to luxury, sustainable bags can cater to almost any promotional budget. They can be made from biodegradable cork, or materials recycled from ocean pollution for example.
Events are a great place to use gifts to promote your business. These can range in size and cost, depending on the needs of your business.
9. Recycled folding chair
Events such as music festivals are incredibly popular, and a great space to showcase gifts with your branding. One way to hit that target market at a promotional event is to gift recycled camping chairs. These can often be built using recycled water bottles, or recycled polyester.
At the right place at the right festival, a folding chair could be seen thousands of times. It can also double up as a camping or fishing chair.
10. Ethical beauty products
Beauty products are the perfect gift for a number of events such as weddings.
There are plenty of beauty products that are sustainable, cruelty-free, natural and some are even vegan friendly. Many suppliers of ethical beauty products depend on their own sustainable reputation and will protect it fiercely with their practices.
If you’re still struggling for ideas, then below are some final themes to consider for sustainable corporate gift ideas
Bamboo as an eco-friendly gift
Perhaps one of the most important eco-friendly trends to emerge is the use of bamboo. It is an incredibly strong, naturally renewable material. Pound for pound it is stronger than steel or wood. A favourite of nature lovers trying to usher in a plastic-free world.
The main benefits are that it is completely plastic-free, can reduce the world’s carbon footprint, and can be regrown rapidly. In comparison to trees (equivalent tree mass) bamboo produces 35% more oxygen whilst reducing carbon dioxide by 12 tonnes per hectare per year.
This all-natural plant-based material makes for some of the best eco-friendly gifts as it is also highly versatile. For example, bamboo can be used to make socks, toothbrushes, cutlery, straws, and phone cases.
Solar Power as an eco-friendly gift
With carbon dioxide becoming a major issue for the planet many are looking for sustainably sourced energy options. With a literal ball of energy that lights the sky each day, it is unsurprising that many are looking to harness this energy. This is especially relevant in the UK this year, as energy prices are set to skyrocket. Price caps are to rise by 54% to account for record price increases on fossil fuels.
This is why solar power gifts will be appreciated by eco-warriors and the general public alike. On one hand, this perfect gift will cut down the need for fossil fuels, promoting a more sustainable lifestyle. On the other hand, a gift recipient will greatly appreciate the savings on energy bills with minimal effort. This includes solar-powered phone chargers, solar backpacks, solar-powered speakers etc.
Renewable, recyclable, and sustainable gifts
Cheap throwaway gifting such as fast fashion gifts are not made from sustainable materials and greatly pollute the planet. In 2018 polyester made up 52% of global fiber production and is by a large margin the most used material in fashion. The fabric increases plastic waste as plastic is woven into the fabric itself to give it strength. However, this strength means it is not biodegradable and extremely hard to recycle.
If you want to gift clothing it is therefore important to think of natural materials such as organic cotton. Cotton is completely biodegradable which is a perfect solution to help reduce waste. Along with using sustainable products, gifts can be used to promote slow fashion.
For example, buying gifts from companies that value durability over trends can help enshrine an ethos of sustainability. Some clothing companies have all bases covered, as they use recycled, organic materials and produce durable clothing using sustainable energy.
Using fully recyclable materials and biodegradable products can help decrease pollution, waste, and plastic on the planet.
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