Environmentally friendly promotional products are great for companies committed to corporate social responsibility and sustainability who are always searching for ways to cut down on waste while streamlining operations and reducing costs. This applies to all aspects of an organization’s operations, including marketing and advertising.
Promotional products are one of the most cost-effective advertising mediums available. They are also the most highly regarded form of advertising by consumers in North America. Yet there’s no denying the fact that promotional products – in particular, promotional products made of plastic – also contribute to environmental waste and throwaway culture.
While U.S. consumers love free stuff – they are also increasingly environmentally conscious. Most companies are aware the importance of corporate social responsibility and sustainability to remain competitive and avoid losing market share over the next few decades. According to Sustainable Brands, “While Generation Z feels unprecedented urgency around many pressing issues, the environment (26 percent) is the top priority that they want companies to address.” 90% of Gen Z – who represent 40% of total U.S. consumers – believe that companies must drive action on social and environmental issues. Millennials are also concerned with and committed to environmental sustainability and activism.
So how do you distribute promotional products in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way? While also simultaneously reducing the amount of money that your business spends on sourcing and distributing promotional products for giveaways each year?
Our guide to sourcing and distributing environmentally friendly promotional products for eco-friendly giveaways includes four easy, actionable steps that your company can implement today.
1.) Eco-friendly giveaways start by giving less
No brand wants their promotional products to end up in a landfill. The easiest way to reduce both environmental waste and your promotional products budget is to make informed choices before purchasing and distributing branded promotional items. Perpetually popular promotional products that are kept the longest by consumers (over a year, on average) and are ideal for sustainable giveaways include promotional t-shirts, polo shirts, outerwear, umbrellas, calendars, USB drives, and desk accessories. These items also have low cost per impressions and can be manufactured from recycled materials. Attributes that help determine how long someone will keep a promotional product before donating or discarding it include: quality, utility, and attractiveness.
For eco-friendly brands, unique and unusual promotional products should be limited edition swag given out as contest prizes – not widely distributed at trade shows and promotional events. Aim to distribute fewer items overall – use most of your promotional product budget to purchase high-quality, functional promo products that will be kept for a long time.
2.) Choose environmentally friendly promotional products made from sustainable, renewable, and recycled materials
Instead of giving away branded merchandise made from materials with a large carbon footprint, such as plastic, opt for environmentally friendly promotional products manufactured from more sustainable materials such as:
- Bamboo – renewable, biodegradable
- Cork – renewable, biodegradable
- Natural wood (fast-growing trees include birch wood, oak, teak)
- Organic cotton or recycled cotton
- Recycled polyester or rPET
- Recycled HDPE plastic
- Recycled paper, glass & wool
In addition, items that help consumers reduce disposable waste like reusable straws, reusable cutlery sets, lunch bags and boxes, and travel mugs are ideal for eco-friendly giveaways.
For additional ideas, check out our list of environmentally friendly promotional products for green giveaways.
3.) Reduce wasteful packaging and make sustainable design choices
Whenever possible, environmentally friendly promotional products should be distributed with minimal packaging. This helps signify to your customers that you are committed to reducing environmental waste and not just greenwashing. If your company is going through a brand refresh or rebranding, consider making sustainable design choices, such as choosing ink-saving fonts. When kitting eco friendly corporate gifts for virtual events and direct mailing campaigns, choose recycled packaging materials.
4.) Use an online company store to distribute environmentally friendly promotional products to your customers and employees
An online company store is the most environmentally friendly way to make promotional products easily available for your sales and marketing staff to give away at trade shows, conferences, and marketing events. An online company store is also an ideal way to distribute loyalty rewards and contest prizes to your loyal customers as well as employee incentives. By allowing employees to choose their own rewards and incentives – from branded merchandise to gift cards – via an online company store platform, you can avoid wasting money purchasing products they don’t want – and ensure they have access to a wide range of styles and sizes of branded company apparel and employee uniforms.
An online company store helps streamline branded merchandise sourcing, distribution, and inventory management – making it the perfect digital tool for economical promotional giveaways, customer loyalty programs, employee incentive and rewards programs, and annual holiday gift giving. With an online company store, your business can source promotional products from a single location and reduce inventory – saving your organization time, money and reducing waste.
Green Marketing with Metron Branding
Metron Branding can guide you through the process of sourcing and distributing environmentally friendly promotional products for eco-friendly giveaways. Check out our and our Socially Responsible Corporate Gifts Guide for more on ethical and carbon/climate neutral products and contact us today: