For U.S. corporations that want a competitive advantage in a tight labor market, eco-friendly employee gifts demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility are more important than ever – especially when it comes to talent recruitment and retention.
Recent research from the IBM Institute for Business Value found that 2 out of 3 workers are more willing to apply for and accept jobs from organizations that they consider to be environmentally sustainable. A strong environmental agenda is also key to long-term employee retention and employee wellbeing.
Going green is great for productivity and profits, too. More than a third of workers surveyed at large U.S. companies in 2019 reported that they’ve given more time and effort to a job because of their employer’s sustainability agenda. Nearly half of the survey respondents indicated they would be willing to take a pay cut to work for a company that’s environmentally responsible. And consumers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for products branded as sustainable or socially responsible. Across consumer categories, products marketed as sustainable have been growing 5-6x faster than the average market, even though these products usually have a higher price premium.
Eco-friendly employee gifts are ideal for companies that value sustainability and corporate social responsibility – yet still want to make their staff feel recognized and valued during special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, and work anniversaries.
The best eco-friendly employee gifts for the office are useful, sustainably designed products made by B corporations like MiiR, Cotopaxi, tentree and other companies that are socially and environmentally responsible. Our top sustainable and eco-friendly employee gift selections for 2022-23 include:
Eco-Friendly Office Holiday Gifts
Special Edition MiiR Camp Cup & Slowtide Blanket Gift Set
This cozy seasonal gift set, featuring a MiiR camp mug and Slowtide fleece blanket, is perfect for winter holidays.
The Slowtide Chico fleece blanket has a soft brushed finish on recycled polyester fabric and the 12 oz. camp mug by MiiR features Thermo 3D Double Wall Vacuum Insulation Technology to keep drinks warm longer and a press-on lid to prevent splashes. Packaged in an eco-friendly gift box.
MiiR Certifications & Memberships: MiiR is a Certified B Corporation and Certified Evergreen company. MiiR is also Climate Neutral Certified and a 1% for the Planet member. MiiR is committed to measuring and reducing their carbon emissions to achieve Net Zero by 2030.
Slowtide Certifications & Memberships: Slowtide’s polyester products are made from 100% Recycled Post-Consumer Waste, certified through the Global Recycled Standard. Their organic cotton is sustainably sourced and certified through the Cotton LEADS program. Slowtide only works with suppliers that ensure fair and safe working conditions and participate in independent, third-party social assessments.
Modern Sprout Seed Ornaments
Eco-friendly, festive ornament seed kits by Modern Sprout make great green corporate gifts for the holidays. Each plastic free molded pulp ornament includes seeds and an expanding coco disc for planting. Deck the halls with a charming winter ornament and then plant a shrub or flowers in early spring. These seed kits can be started up to 2 weeks before the last frost date.
Choose from festive seed options like Spruce, Eucalyptus, Poinsettia & Peppermint Cosmos (a magenta-and-white annual that’s easy to grow).
Modern Sprout’s Impact: Modern Sprout has formed strategic partnerships with environmental organizations like Pollinator Partnership and American Forests. Their product lines feature sustainable, biodegradable materials and they avoid using plastic materials in their packaging and products. Modern Sprout is also committed to using domestic sourcing and manufacturing when possible.
Unique Eco-Friendly Employee Gifts
Good & Well Supply Co. National Park Candles
Ethically sourced and produced Good & Well Supply Co. candles are handcrafted from all-natural soy. Made in Seattle, WA, these clean candles are 100% eco-friendly, recyclable, and long-lasting (80+ hour burn time). Each scent is inspired by a national park. The Rainer candle, for example, is composed of balsam fir needle, balsamic woody crushed pine needles, and citrus – perfect for the holidays!
Well & Good Supply Co.’s Impact: This Washington-based small business makes annual donations to the National Park Foundation and other environmental organizations including 1% for the Planet. By sourcing their materials (including wicks made from FSC-certified balsa wood) from the U.S., they are able to reduce shipping distances (and carbon emissions) and make materials with stricter environmental controls. Most of their packaging is also made in the U.S.
Out of the Woods Bags & Desk Accessories
Out of the Woods creates durable, eco-friendly bags and desktop accessories (desktop blotter, fabric pen holder) using Supernatural Paper. A sustainable, washable, and vegan material, Supernatural Paper is made from tree cellulose (a renewable resource) sourced from responsibly managed forests. Popular Out of the Woods products include their Tech Folio and Reusable Lunch Bags.
Out of the Woods’ Impact: Supernatural Paper is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Out of the Woods uses a manufacturing process that complies to ISO 50001 standards and utilizes an almost circular water system. Their factory in Vietnam is SA8000 certified and they adhere to the standards of one of the world’s leading ethical trade service providers, Sedex.
Solar Mason Jar Lights
Glass solar-powered mason jars are an eco-friendly way to add lighting and rustic style and ambiance to an outdoor space.
Sustainable Drinkware Gifts
MiiR Wine Tumbler Gift Sets
These sleek drinkware gift sets include MiiR vacuum insulated wine tumblers, made from 18/8 stainless steel, and designed to retain your wine’s temperature for hours. Some gift sets include a 25 oz. MiiR vacuum insulated wine bottle.
MiiR’s Impact: Every MiiR product sold helps fund transparent giving projects. Each MiiR product comes with a Give Code that allows you to experience the story behind your purchase.
Klean Kanteen Travel Tumblers & Cap Bottles
Most of Klean Kanteen’s BPA-free, chip resistant eco-friendly drinkware designs are constructed from 90% post-consumer recycled 18/8 food grade stainless steel. Their double-wall Climate Lock vacuum insulation helps keep contents hot or iced for many hours.
Klean Kanteen Certifications & Memberships: Klean Kanteen is a Certified B Corporation, Climate Neutral Certified, and a 1% for the Planet member.
Sustainable Tech Gifts
Durable, useful tech products that help save energy make great eco-friendly employee gifts for tech-obsessed employees who also want to reduce their carbon footprint. Some bestselling sustainable tech gifts for the 2022-2023 holiday season include:
Skullcandy Dime True Wireless Earbuds
Durable IPX4 water resistant wireless earbuds that are built to last by Skullcandy. The small, efficient battery of the Dime makes its carbon footprint less than half that of other true wireless earbuds.
Skullcandy’s Impact: Skullcandy has received several business awards for their efforts to reduce waste and energy use in manufacturing and shipping. All of Skullcandy’s packaging is 100% recyclable. With the goal of keeping 1,000,000 pounds of waste from entering landfills by the end of 2025, Skullcandy has partnered with facilities around the world to recycle and upcycle their products for resale.
Solar Power Banks & Panels
Solar power banks and portable solar panels are an environmentally friendly way to reduce power consumption.
Ethical & Sustainable Luxury Corporate Gifts
tentree Apparel & Accessories
tentree plants ten trees for every item purchased from their popular line of ethically and sustainably made casualwear, outerwear, and accessories. tentree uses high-quality, long-lasting materials that are better for the skin (and the environment) like organic cotton and hemp as well as recycled and upcycled fabrics.
tentree Certifications & Memberships: tentree is a Certified B Corporation and Climate Neutral Certified. To fight climate change, tentree plans to plant 1 billion trees by 2030.
Cotopaxi Hip Packs & Backpacks
Colorful, sustainably designed Cotopaxi hip packs and backpacks are eco-friendly and on-trend for 2023. Premium eco-friendly corporate gifts like custom Cotopaxi backpacks are especially popular in the tech industry.
Cotopaxi Certifications & Memberships: Cotopaxi is a Certified B Corporation and Climate Neutral Certified. Through the Cotopaxi Foundation, Cotopaxi allocates 1% of their annual revenues to end global poverty.
Reward & Engage Employees while Reducing Environmental Waste
Organizations that value sustainability respect human capital and value their employees. Implementing corporate gifting practices and platforms that reduce environmental waste with eco-friendly employee gifts is an ideal way to reward, motivate, and engage happy employees.
For additional ideas on eco-friendly employee gifts for holidays and work anniversaries, check out these guides: