Socially Responsible Corporate Gifts: Our Guide to Ethical & Carbon/Climate Neutral Products

Socially responsible corporate gifts are manufactured by ethical companies committed to fair labor and socially and environmentally responsible sourcing and production. Purpose-driven brands and companies that place a strong emphasis on corporate social responsibility often prefer to give socially responsible and sustainable corporate gifts to their sales prospects, VIP clients, and employees. They are also more likely to incorporate digital gifts like eGift cards and automated corporate gifting platforms into their corporate gifting programs to reduce waste and cut costs.

As greenwashing-savvy consumers increasingly seek transparency on the social and environmental impact of the products they use, socially responsible corporate gifts will become even more important for internal marketing and promotional campaigns targeting Gen Z and Millennial consumers.

Ethical Corporate Gifts

Ethical labor practices and transparent supply chain sourcing are key components of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Corporate social responsibility fundamentals like fair labor practices and respect for human rights are important to an increasingly large percentage of consumers. Third-party certifications like B Corp Certification, Fair Trade certification, and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certification help consumers identify ethical manufacturers of clothing and other consumer goods. Corporate gifts produced by Certified B Corp companies and other companies committed to ethical manufacturing and supply chain transparency will be especially in-demand over the next decade.

Eco Friendly Corporate Gifts

Environmentally friendly and sustainable swag items can make excellent socially responsible corporate gifts. Many consumer goods companies now manufacture built-to-last apparel, accessories, and other merchandise out of sustainable and recycled materials such as bamboo, cork, reclaimed fabric, recycled glass, and plant-based leather alternatives like pineapple leather and mushroom leather.

Some consumer-packaged goods businesses have taken steps to make their products carbon neutral, aka net zero. According to Plan A, “Carbon neutral means that any CO2 released into the atmosphere from a company’s activities is balanced by an equivalent amount being removed.” Companies achieve this by purchasing carbon offsets, which help fund environmental programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Other companies are going a step further and becoming Climate Neutral Certified, meaning they have committed to measuring, offsetting, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A few enterprising corporations like IKEA and Microsoft are even committing to becoming carbon negative or climate positive over the next decade, meaning they plan to help remove more greenhouse gas emissions than they generate, by purchasing carbon credits and other actions.

The Best Brands for Sustainable & Socially Responsible Corporate Gifts

A growing percentage of consumers would prefer to receive corporate gifts manufactured by ethical and socially responsible brands. Eco friendly and sustainable company gifts can be a great way to attract and engage younger consumers while building your brand image.

Some of the best ecofriendly and socially responsible gifts for 2022 include:

socially responsible corporate gifts - organic blanket

tentree Organic Cotton Blankets

Tentree’s sustainable clothing and accessories are made from materials that are better for the environment like organic cotton, recycled and upcycled polyester, and Tencel. Tentree uses renewable energy in its supply chain to reduce its climate impact and traces most of its supply chain.

Tentree is a Climate Neutral Certified brand, working to reduce their carbon footprint while also measuring and offsetting all of their greenhouse gas emissions. Their brand is known for planting ten trees for every apparel item sold. They’re also a Certified B Corporation, meaning they’ve met rigorous standards for social and environmental performance.

MiiR Drinkware

socially responsible corporate gifts - sustainable drinkware

MiiR, another certified B Corporation and Climate Neutral Certified brand, produces high-quality mugs, travel tumblers, backpacks, bags, and other lifestyle accessories.

MiiR’s expertly designed, affordable, customizable drinkware is a popular, eco-friendly, and universally appealing sustainable corporate gift idea. MiiR’s sustainable design practices are focused on durability, recyclability, and replaceability. This means they produce high-quality products that consumers appreciate and will keep for a long time.

MiiR has committed to measuring and offsetting 100% of their carbon footprint while also working to reduce CO2 emissions. In 2021, MiiR offset their entire carbon footprint of 14,036 metric tonnes of CO2e through their partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

MiiR Cup of Java Gourmet Pairing Gift Set

This branded corporate gift set pairs a vacuum insulated camp cup by MiiR with other brands that do good including direct trade chocolate and coffee from Taza Chocolate and Onda Origins.

Port Authority C-FREE Shirts

socially responsible corporate gifts - carbon neutral shirts

Port Authority’s new C-FREE carbon neutral performance wear line includes moisture-wicking polos made from 100% recycled polyester. For every shirt in their C-FREE line, Port Authority measured the carbon footprint and neutralized their impact on the environment with Carbonfree product certification. By purchasing carbon offsets (through third-party, verified energy efficiency, renewable energy or forestry carbon offset projects), they remove an equivalent amount of emissions elsewhere in the environment.

Port Authority is a private label brand of SanMar Corporation, an Accredited Participating Company of the Fair Labor Association and a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

SanMar publishes an annual corporate responsibility report which details their commitment to ensuring fair compensation, auditing 97% of their factories annually (and making follow-up improvements), and setting science-based targets for lowering their carbon footprint such as reducing packaging waste. Case studies published by organizations like the Fair Labor Association and Better Buying Institute also help demonstrate SanMar’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing.

socially responsible corporate gifts - ethically made shirts

Allmade Shirts & Hoodies

Allmade produces ethically made, sustainable shirts and casualwear from materials like 100% certified organic cotton, recycled polyester, and GOTS-certified dyes. Their production practices save water and limit CO2 emissions. Allmade is also a carbon neutral company, offsetting their carbon footprint by supporting a renewable energy project that installs wind turbines in India.

Unlike most apparel companies, Allmade is completely committed to transparency in their supply chain, publishing detailed information about their factories on their website.

Reduce your Carbon Footprint while Streamlining your Corporate Gifting Program

To learn how to reduce your carbon footprint while making your corporate gifting program more efficient and cost effective, check out our guide to Eco-Friendly Giveaways.

Contact Metron Branding to get started with selecting sustainable and socially responsible corporate gifts for your sales prospects, VIP clients, and employees in 2022!