2020 has been an annus horribillis for businesses around the globe. So why not spread a little Christmas cheer (and boy do we need it!) and say thanks to your employees and clients for their continued support with our unique guide to sustainable corporate gifts.
Branded hats, mugs, and USB sticks are all well and good. But do they really make an impact? These meaningless gestures often end up heading straight for the bin. But corporate gifting doesn’t have to be so cliche. With a little bit of thought, it is possible to inspire your colleagues and clients by giving them a wonderfully sustainable gift that reminds them of their value to your company. But it can be tricky to source something that’s on budget and also makes a lasting impression. If you’re struggling to source the perfect seasonal trinket this year, fret not, we’re here to help.
While we’re all for reducing consumerism for the sake of it, corporate gifting is a great way to communicate heartfelt appreciation for your clients, employees and partners. And sustainable corporate gifting goes one step further by also supporting social and environmentally-responsible brands. As the planet continues to battle against depleting natural resources and the climate crisis, it’s more important than ever for businesses to ensure that their economic success is not at the expense of its social and environmental responsibilities. And sustainable corporate gifting is a #LittleGreenStep that all organisations, big or small, can take.
It’s a no-brainer that we all feel more motivated and appreciated when we are acknowledged for the work we produce, or for being a loyal supporter of our favourite brands. So before we share our gift guide, here are a few reasons why sustainable corporate gifting has a range of long-term benefits that will directly benefit your organisation.
Why it matters
1. Reinforcing Your Business Values
As the age-old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Opting for sustainable alternatives when selecting gifts reflects the values of your business, and demonstrates how the company makes conscious decisions to support sustainability where possible. It shows that these values are not just empty words, but that you put your money where your mouth is.
2. Improved Business Perception
Given that issues of social and environmental responsibility have never been more pressing, businesses need to align their interests with that of their consumers and the public. Gifting products made with eco-friendly materials and socially responsible processes communicate that your business is relevant and aware of the global issues currently in play.
3. Customer Trust and Loyalty
Trust needs to be earned. Making the small yet powerful decision of choosing to support sustainable brands for corporate gifts, showcases your business’s active commitment to corporate social responsibility. Customers who see the value in being socially and environmentally responsible will be more likely to remain loyal to your business. It’s also a bonus if you know the individual preferences of your intended recipients so you can send a personalised gift!
4. Employee Motivation
Corporate gifting may be a small act of appreciation, but it can go a long way in encouraging job satisfaction and work efficiency. The act of gifting, an extrinsic reward often used to command excellent work performance, can produce intrinsic rewards for employees. It can encourage higher individual self-esteem and self-confidence, providing them with the motivation to perform better at their work! Through sustainable corporate gifts, the act of gifting can also be used to develop and strengthen the values of employees.
Your business’s first #LittleGreenStep towards corporate social responsibility begins with sustainable corporate gifting. But you’re not just limited to physical objects – we’ve thought of a few meaningful experience gifts, too. Here are some of our favourite sustainable companies that’ll help you deliver (because even Santa can’t do his rounds alone).
Festive hampers from The Whole Kitchen
Who doesn’t love receiving a hamper bursting with festive treats at Christmas? And this year The Whole Kitchen has created a veritable feast of delicious sounding gifts that would make ideal presents for clients or employees alike. The best part? Its hampers are packed with gluten-free, vegan, and healthy treats that won’t contribute towards piling on the festive pounds. Expect items like gingerbread cookies, cranberry pistachio biscotti, festive nut mixes, and fig and pecan nutcake to feature in the hamper of your choice.
Travel virtually with LooLa
Take your team or clients on a virtual eco-travel experience without leaving the comfort of their homes. How does it work? LooLa works with communities in need across Indonesia, partnering them with schools, universities, companies, and individuals who want to make an impact. As an organisation, simply pick a UN SDG goal that aligns with your corporate values and a community you wish to support then let LooLa partner you with a family or community who best suits your requirements. From planting trees and enabling plastic clean-ups, to upgrading Indonesian homes and creating lifelong sanitation systems; you can design a concrete and affordable project that gives life to your goal. You can collectively decide on the project with your team, and LooLa will e-connect you to their team on the ground and introduce you to your community partner for you to watch the progress of your project. Watch on as your team and clients are inspired by the impact you are making and relationships you will naturally build with the community you’re supporting. It’s the perfect opportunity to travel virtually while the world is still grounded by COVID.
Create a planet-friendly community with Capture
Launched in 2019, Capture is the app touted as the “Fitbit for your carbon footprint”. The consumer app allows individuals to track, reduce, and remove CO2 emissions from everyday life. And now, thanks to its most recent update, Capture for teams is also available, allowing you to create your own planet-friendly community. Through Capture’s secure in-app area and accompanying web-based dashboard, it’s easy to help clients and employees get excited about sustainability. Capture will work with you to create in-app personalised corporate branding, create planet-friendly commitments, and help you track the goals your community is achieving. And by inviting clients and employees to get involved, it’s the perfect opportunity for your business to demonstrate climate leadership.
Annual subscription with Muuse
Muuse is a brilliant app operating in Singapore, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and San Francisco that encourages zero-waste takeout. How does it work? Muuse has created a network of cafes throughout the cities in which it operates. If you order takeout from a cafe or restaurant in its network, you can collect your drink or meal in one of its containers, and when you’re done just drop it back to any of its cafes. It’s a great gift for foodies that also encourages zero-waste scoffing. And on 16 November 2020, it’s launching a gift card providing an annual subscription to its services. If you’re quick, you’ll be able to take advantage of its discounted launch price of $25 for the year (usually $42). Plus, for every gift card sold, 1kg of ocean plastic will be removed by its partner Seven Clean Seas. It’s a double whammy of feel-good giving that your employees and clients will love.
Adopt a tree or plant a whole forest! EcoMatcher makes it easy for organisations to help reforest the world thanks to its network of vetted reforestation foundations. Recipients of your trees can even virtually visit them online via its TreeTracker app, find out more about the person who planted it, and keep tabs on the forest it forms a part of. It’s a completely sustainable and transparent way to gift clients and employees alike. And adopting a single tree starts at USD$3.49, making it a super affordable way to say thank you
CALM annual membership
Mental health in the workplace is a topic that’s increasingly moving towards the top of corporate agendas, and rightly so. This year, why not give the gift of calm to employees or clients? A year-long subscription to the #1 app for mental fitness that aids sleep and enhances health and happiness is exactly what’s needed given the stresses of 2020. If reducing stress, building resilience, and increasing focus and creativity is a priority for your business, get your employees downloading this award-winning app.
Purnama Outreach is a social enterprise geared towards making a meaningful difference in the lives of women and children in Asia. It does so by creating unique products that provide livelihood and educational opportunities through environmentally conscious, sustainable practices. It donates the profit from many of its product lines directly to initiatives across the region. Give a gift and give back? Sounds good to us! Check out its eco luggage tags and eco keychain holders that would make excellent gifts for clients or colleagues, or our personal favourite is its fabric cosy cup sleeve. Not only will this encourage others to ditch the plastic during the morning coffee run, but proceeds from sales will also help support education and independence for autistic and special needs children.
Left-handesign is a brilliant sustainable stationery and lifestyle brand based in Singapore. The core of the brand is to create unique, sustainable product ranges for gifting, and we are obsessed with its imaginative range. Our favourites include its BĪJ pencils and pens, that once used can then be planted and grown into a tomato, chilli, marigold, or basil plant (yes, really!). For large orders, it’s even possible to get your company logo added to the design. Alternatively, it also has a range of sustainable, reusable coffee cups that will encourage all the caffeine addicts to embrace more sustainable practices on their coffee runs! The best part? For every $30 you spend, it will also plant a tree in your honour. You’ll find a link to learn more about your tree, it’s location, and the impact you’re having on our planet with confirmation of your order. Spread festive cheer and become a part of the community reforesting the world? Cheers to that!
Encourage others to be more conscious by gifting them a barePack membership. This super cool Singaporean startup aims to reduce single-use plastic by supplying reusable takeaway containers at cafes and restaurants across the city. You’ll soon start noticing the barePack logo across town at everywhere from Pizza Express to SaladStop, and when you do, it means you can grab your food minus the guilt-trip that comes with using a disposable container. Once you’re finished, return the container next time you’re passing a barePack friendly restaurant. Highly convenient and your colleagues and clients can enjoy lunch on the go without a side of single-use plastic.
TGR Trail Running
TGR features an enviro-mix of some of the best road and trail running around. It organises personalised running and training plans, fun runs, retreats, trail races and trail cleanups. Its events are designed to contribute to the local community and environment. TGR is an opportunity for people to reset themselves in everyday life and habit; the perfect antidote to the stresses of the workplace! Through them, you can also help fund a Hong Kong Student GreenCommunity project that helps make Hong Kong an even greener place to live. You could even adopt an eroded or damaged section of a Hong Kong Country Park Trail and support in the restoration (in support of Concern Group for Concretisation of Hong Kong Natural Trails). The possibilities are endless! And we doubt that anybody would be mad at the chance to get a little more fresh air and greenery in their lives.
Rooftop Republic’s team has been pioneering the urban farming movement over the last five years in Hong Kong. Its vision is to revolutionise the food system and transform the relationship people have with their food. They are a truly multi-disciplinary team and collaborate with architects, engineers, organic farmers, chefs and nutritionists to develop and deliver urban farming solutions. Through its farm set up and maintenance services, it can help you design and manage a farm within your facilities. It can also help you engage with schools, NGOs or communities and make them a part of your project. From donating harvests to local food banks and organising school visits on your farm, to involving the elderly in your neighbourhood through farming activities. Alternatively, if you don’t have the space to set up a farm, why not sponsor a farm on a school to provide a unique experiential opportunity for kids?
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