It’s no secret that the world around us is suffering because of our single-use culture that’s more about convenience than sustainability. But if we want to put an end to climate change and ensure we don’t destroy our planet beyond repair, we all need to make some changes.
With more businesses realizing they have a corporate responsibility to reduce waste, recycle more and implement sustainable practices across the board, you may be thinking about how you can make your business more eco-friendly.
It may sound overwhelming, but any changes you make will have a positive impact on the environment; from switching to solar energy sources to ensuring all your corporate gifts are plastic-free or made from recycled materials.
Many companies buy gifts for top-performing employees or give away branded products to members of the public as a means of promotion. So, you could start small by switching to eco-friendly corporate gifts, before making some of the bigger changes to become greener.
What are some corporate sustainable gift ideas for 2022?
The best eco-friendly gifts are completely plastic-free or made from recycled materials, and can include items like virtual gift cards, bamboo coffee cups, compostable phone cases, sustainable stationery and biodegradable bags.
Ethically-sourced items such as toiletries, clothing and loose-leaf tea can also make great corporate sustainable gifts.
If that’s not enough to inspire you, continue reading for our full list of eco-friendly gift ideas.
One of the best ways to be more sustainable is to avoid plastic altogether. And there are plenty of plastic-free items that would make great corporate gifts.
Virtual gift cards
Recognizing your employees’ efforts and talent makes good business sense. It increases staff morale and encourages productivity – by incentivising top sellers, for example.
A gift card is a great way to reward an employee’s achievements, as they can choose what to buy for themselves, rather than receiving something that could potentially end up in a landfill site.
But rather than opting for the physical gift cards you can buy in shops, choose a virtual gift card to cut down on plastic waste.
Reusable drink containers
Plastic drinks containers take around 450 years to decompose, which is why many people prefer to carry their own reusable water bottles and coffee cups around with them instead.
They can be made from anything – including recycled plastic – but it’s best to go for bamboo or metal, as there’s widespread concern that toxins from water bottle plastic can seep through into the water.
The good thing about gifting reusable drinks containers is that they can be branded with company logos and slogans, which will help advertise your business.
Compostable phone cases
A phone cover is likely to be a much-appreciated corporate gift, considering most of us now own a mobile device.
Billions of plastic phone cases are sold every year. However, there are now many sustainable options available too.
It’s true that phone covers made from recycled plastic can reduce waste, but a compostable case is better as it can prevent future waste.
As with reusable drinks containers, they’re a great marketing tool, as they can be used to advertise your business.
Gifts made from recycled materials
Whether it’s plastic bottles, yogurt pots or polyester, items made from recycled materials are perfect for sustainable gifting.
The following recycled gift ideas should provide you with plenty of inspiration.
Electronic waste contains toxic substances, such as lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium, which can seep into groundwater and harm animals, as well as damage the atmosphere when exposed to heat.
Thankfully, there are now plenty of sustainable electronics available to buy for corporate gifting. Here are some examples:
Gifting headphones can be especially beneficial for employees who make numerous phone calls for work. But whether they’re used in a work or personal capacity, eco-friendly headphones come with the added bonus of knowing you’re doing a little bit for the environment.
Sustainable headphones take many forms, from wireless earbuds made out of sustainable bamboo to over-ear headphones made with recycled materials.
If you really want to treat someone, the perfect gift could be a watch. Maybe one of your employees has smashed their sales target multiple times in a row. Or you might want to show your appreciation to a loyal customer.
Whatever the reason, you can now thank them with a lavish present while sticking to your company’s green ethos.
When shopping for eco-friendly watches, look for ones that are made with recycled or sustainable materials by a Fairtrade company.
Considering electronics are such a huge part of our daily lives, an eco-friendly wireless charging pad makes a great sustainable gift.
To ensure maximum usability, it’s best to go for one that’s compatible with a wide range of devices, from iPhones and Androids to earbuds and smartwatches.
Again, they can be made from sustainable bamboo or recycled materials, such as plastic bottles and silicone.
Green stationery – like pens and notebooks – is ideal for advertising your company, as your logo and other information can be easily printed onto them.
They’re also relatively inexpensive, meaning you can buy in bulk and ensure your business is seen by as many people as possible.
From luxurious luggage to simple tote bags that can be used to bundle other gifts together, sustainable bags take many forms, meaning you should be able to find one to suit your corporate gifting needs.
They can be made using a range of recycled materials, such as plastic bottles, yogurt cups and polyester.
If you’re looking for a gift that’s more personal, jewellery could be the answer.
Necklaces and bracelets made from recycled materials like glass, metal and leather are a thoughtful way to thank a customer or employee while being green.
Ethically sourced gifts
When shopping for sustainable corporate gifts, it’s a good idea to do some research into the company to make sure the materials they use are ethically-sourced.
The following gift ideas are all examples of products that can be ethically sourced.
Eco-friendly brands aren’t usually shy about their sustainability and will often base their marketing around that fact. This is particularly true of beauty brands.
This means it’s easy to find ethically-sourced pampering products to give to your employees, clients or members of the public.
Plenty of products, such as bath oils, soaps and scrubs, are free from palm oil and handmade with ingredients that are sourced locally – so you’ll be supporting local businesses, as well as being more sustainable.
Fast fashion is one of the main contributors to the climate crisis.
An increasing amount of clothing is ending up in landfill sites as a result of our “throwaway culture” and unsustainable materials like polyester and Viscose are used to make many of these garments. Plastic is woven into the fabric to increase durability, however, that also means it’s not biodegradable and is extremely difficult to recycle.
Cheap clothing is also often made in factories in India, China and Vietnam, where workers are paid significantly less than they would be in the UK, in working conditions that aren’t nearly as good.
So, if you want to gift clothing, it’s vital that as well as choosing items made from sustainable materials like organic cotton, you do your research on the manufacturer by combing through their website or looking them up on the Good on You directory.
Responsibly sourced tea
Like fashion, the tea industry has a reputation for being unethical. This is because tea farmers in countries like India, China, Kenya and Indonesia are taken advantage of by large companies and are paid low wages, despite working long hours.
However, with more awareness surrounding these issues, there are now many ethically-sourced tea brands to choose from.
Loose-leaf teas are more luxurious for gifting than teabags, but with both types, you can choose from a variety of flavours, including breakfast, oolong, rooibos, chai, green, fruit or herbal.
Edible eco-friendly gifts
Edible corporate gifts can be sustainable, as long as they’re ethically sourced, vegan or come in plastic-free packaging. We’ve included some examples of edible gifts below.
Edible treats for employees can go a long way in terms of motivation and staff morale – and they’re relatively inexpensive to buy.
Eco-friendly snack boxes made with biodegradable packaging and containing ethically-sourced produce also encourage your employees to think about how they can live more sustainably, as well as ensure you’re sticking to your green ethos.
Some of the items that can be included in these boxes are chocolate bars, sweets, banana chips, nuts and crisps. A vegan snack box is even better for the environment.
Food hampers make great corporate gifts to give to customers as they can be filled with a variety of sustainable, luxury products such as tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cheese, chocolate, fruit, olives, biscuits, wine and gin.
We hope this list has given you some inspiration, but before you go and start buying all of your corporate sustainable gifts, one final thing to consider is which companies you buy from.
Some companies will donate part of the proceeds they make to an environmental charity, for example; or they’ll include their own free gifts to promote sustainability, such as seed packets to grow flowers that attract bees and butterflies.
You should also do some research to make sure the company you’re buying from is as sustainable as they claim to be.
To put an end to climate change and ensure we don’t destroy our planet beyond repair, we all need to make some changes – and that includes businesses.
If you buy gifts for top-performing employees or give away branded products to members of the public, you could start making your company more eco-friendly by implementing small changes like ensuring you only buy sustainable corporate gifts.
Some plastic-free gifts you could buy include virtual gift cards, reusable drinks containers and compostable phone cases, while headphones, watches, charging pads, pens, notebooks, bags and jewelery are all examples of gifts that can be made from recycled materials.
Ethically-sourced corporate gift ideas can include toiletries, clothing and tea, with food boxes and hampers also making great sustainable gifts.
When shopping around for environmentally-friendly gifts to give your employees, customers or members of the public, be sure to buy them from a company that’s as ethical as they claim to be.