How to Reward Employees with Sustainable Gifts

Share it on:
Written by Annie Button

The holiday season offers a valuable opportunity for companies who support sustainability to reward employees in the greenest way possible. Now’s the time to show how much your business values sustainable living by gifting employees with eco-friendly seasonal treats, green parties and unique gift experiences.

From sustainable perks to corporate donations to worthy causes, there are plenty of incredible and inspiring gift ideas to choose from, such as sharing branded gifts wrapped with a heart-warming eco-friendly message or ordering homemade goodies for your global team. Below are some great ways to reward employees (and others) with meaningful presents that align with your corporate values. 

Rethink Traditional Gift-Giving

Seasonal vacations are a great time to treat employees while being mindful of creating waste. According to research, for example, the level of unwanted goods increases by 25% during the festive period. While it is all too easy to give employees the usual boxes of chocolates or unnecessary branded items, although they are gratefully accepted, they might end up as unwanted and consigned to the trash can.

Therefore, rather than defaulting to this norm, consider picking out sustainable gifts for your employees that can tick off being:

  • Low-impact
  • Sustainably-sourced and produced
  • Reusable
  • Biodegradable
  • High quality 

Choose Presents That Promote Climate Activism

If you want to reward your employees with a sustainable gift, take some time to consider unique presents and gift experiences that support sustainability initiatives, promote change, and pledge an alliance with climate activism. This can be anything from launching an electric car scheme for your team to giving employees a global membership to a worldwide charity that supports conservation and biodiversity. You might also consider gifts like canvas totes with inspiring calls to action on climate change, or branded clothes with eco-friendly messages manufactured out of recycled materials. 

Businesses can invite their employees to make donations to nonprofit organizations in an employer’s name or sign up to an annual membership for a group that aligns with sustainability values, for an even more thoughtful present. With a little creativity, you can find gift options that are eco-friendly, unique to your employees, and meaningful.

Host Eco-Friendly Corporate Parties

Try throwing highly-anticipated parties to celebrate holidays throughout the year! These are great opportunities to incorporate sustainability into your corporate celebrations. It is no surprise that arranging and hosting corporate events has a huge impact on our global footprint. So, if you are going to plan parties at any time of year, try to do so with sustainability at the core of your event planning.

From sending out invites (using e-vites to reduce paper waste) to sustainable party decorations, there are numerous ways to ensure your celebrations are eco-friendly. Host your party at a sustainable venue and promote it to creatively showcase your green initiatives and credentials. Wherever you are in the world, look for venues that integrate energy-efficient lighting, recycling programs, and composting of organic waste. Similarly, opt for spaces with energy-efficient furnishings and fittings as much as you can.

You might also want to make sure your caterers use sustainable practices. Research whether they have respectable policies when it comes to minimizing food waste, reusing plastics, and recycling glass bottles or containers. Some catering firms will let you know if they offer plant-based and seasonal organic appetizers, meals, and desserts. You should, where possible, pledge support for caterers who source ethically-sourced ingredients to reduce transport emissions. Likewise, look for global initiatives that collect leftovers or high-profile brands raising awareness about people who lack access to food or are left out of traditional festivities.

Reward Employees With Eco-Friendly Gifts

The gift choices companies make for employees carry meaning and demonstrate values. Rather than giving generic gifts that are destined for the trash, select presents that reflect sustainability and social responsibility. A sustainable gift that is valuable to an employee might be pledging regular donations to meaningful causes or to charities supporting climate activism. 

Alternatively, purchase gifts that are homemade, such as baked goods, knitted items and personally-crafted pieces. Fair trade and organic consumables like coffee, tea, chocolate and skincare can make thoughtful gifts while also supporting ethical sourcing and agriculture. In addition, there are many sustainable corporate gift experiences, such as spa days or outdoor group pursuits like beach cleaning and volunteer days that make fantastic alternatives. Gift cards and vouchers to buy items from green businesses, eco-fashion brands and sustainable tech stores will also appeal to your eco-friendly employees. 

Meanwhile, you can reward staff by block-booking tickets to environmentally-conscious classes, or sign employees up for green adventures during the year, such as foraging workshops, hiking excursions or farm-to-table cooking classes. Employees increasingly care about environmental and social issues, so gifts that embody sustainability send a powerful message.

Promote Your Company’s Sustainability Values

The festive season is the perfect opportunity to give employees presents to thank them while simultaneously highlighting your organization's sustainability values, both internally and externally. Give employees presents that are packaged and gift-wrapped sustainably in addition to carrying meaningful messages and sustainable living tips. Meanwhile, your company can order reusable water bottles with facts about plastic waste or tote bags printed with reminders to reduce and reuse. Organize a vacation fundraising initiative for an eco-focused charity or nonprofit and rally employees around the cause of giving back. 

Any gifts or seasonal events can be arranged to encourage your staff into living and working more sustainably, as well as highlighting your current and ongoing business commitment to sustainability. In turn, use any seasonal vacations as an opportunity to show appreciation to your employees in ways that align with your company’s actions on climate change. 

By rethinking traditional gift-giving and planning seasonal events that minimize waste, businesses can celebrate important dates in the calendar while reducing their environmental impact. Sustainable gifting and greener parties enable companies to mark special occasions and inspire eco-conscious practices with employees who share a commitment to living more sustainably. With some thoughtful planning, businesses can celebrate vacations while highlighting their sustainability values and rewarding dedicated employees.

Join the movement.
Download Earth Hero now to collectively address the climate crisis
Download app from Google Play StoreDownload app from App Store

Photo Credit
Image source: Deposit Photos