Corporate gifts for employees: the importance of sustainability values
Corporate gifts hold a special place in the hearts of employees as a way to show appreciation and strengthen their connection to the company.
Corporate values cover a broad spectrum, including transparency, fairness, honesty, trust, innovation and creativity. Among these, sustainability has emerged as a central theme in recent years. Sustainability became a top priority with the adoption of the Programme of Action for People, Planet and Prosperity in September 2015 by the governments of all 193 UN member states.
The focus on sustainability is reinforced in the 2022 edition of the GreenItaly Report. Over 531,000 companies have decided to invest in green technologies and products between 2017 and 2021. In particular, 40.6% of companies in industry and a significant 42.5% in manufacturing have made these investments.
Italy has also taken the lead in the circular economy, achieving an impressive recycling rate of 83.4% in 2020, above the European average of 53.8% and ahead of other large countries such as Germany, France and Spain.
The emphasis on green issues provides an opportunity to communicate these values through corporate gifts for employees.
The importance of sustainability in corporate gift selection
Sustainability is not just a corporate value; it is a priority for employees themselves. According to the Millennial Survey 2022, 42% of Italian GenZ and 37% of Millennials consider climate change their most important challenge. Therefore, receiving eco-friendly gifts from the company they work for is very appealing to them.
Choosing eco-friendly gifts promotes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This choice has a double benefit for the company, as it can include these activities in its sustainability report and create a positive image for employees who see concrete environmental actions that align with their values.
While climate change is a significant challenge for many, not everyone is equally sensitive to environmental issues. A company that has made sustainability a core value can use eco-friendly gifts to raise employee awareness. Companies can stimulate reflection and encourage environmentally friendly behaviour by explaining why these gifts are sustainable, how they are made, and how they help to reduce environmental impact.
Selecting sustainable gifts not only helps communicate corporate sustainability to employees but also represents a meaningful step in corporate social responsibility, encompassing responsible policies, behaviours and activities that a company adopts internally and externally to benefit society and the environment. In today's competitive employment market, candidates and employees prefer companies that authentically embrace these values and prioritise social responsibility.
According to findings from Randstad's bi-annual Workmonitor survey, more than a third (35%) of employees would be reluctant to work for a company that doesn't share their values on social and environmental issues. In addition, 38% would be reluctant to join a company without a commitment to sustainability, while 39% would have reservations if fairness and diversity were not a priority. Green gifts reinforce the idea that they are part of a company that is genuinely committed to sustainability.
Example of sustainable corporate giftsWhether it's a birthday, anniversary, Christmas or a new hire, every occasion is an opportunity to give gifts to employees. But what types of gifts are in line with sustainability?
Several sustainably produced products can be considered:
- Mugs for office or home use
- Backpacks made from recycled materials, suitable for work and leisure
- Notebooks, notepads and diaries made from recycled paper, or even plantable bookmarks
- R-Pet shopping bags and stainless steel lunch boxes made from recycled materials
With so many options, it is ideal to prioritise products that respect the environment while promoting social sustainability. For example, a personalised jacket with the company logo made from marine plastic or a reusable water bottle helps avoid using more than 230 plastic bottles a year and supports the collection of 1 kg of marine plastic from Brazilian, Indonesian and Italian fishermen who fish for waste.
By partnering with organisations closely connected to the ocean, a company helps achieve two of the UN 2030 Agenda's SDGs. The first, Goal 14, focuses on life below water and aims to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution and protect marine ecosystems. The second is Goal 17, which emphasises the development of partnerships as a key tool for sustainable development.
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