Green ideas for corporate gifts

Submitted by: Nadia Shah, Tuesday, November 25, 2014

<p>An eco-friendly gift choice demonstrates your company’s commitment to sustainability (Image Source: Copyright: <a href=''>melpomen / 123RF Stock Photo</a>)</p>

An eco-friendly gift choice demonstrates your company’s commitment to sustainability (Image Source: Copyright: melpomen / 123RF Stock Photo)

As the year comes to an end it is customary to exchange gifts with colleagues, clients and service providers as a token of appreciation and well wishes over the festive season. Corporate gifting is an extension of the company’s brand and can therefore be used to reinforce the organisation’s values with its stakeholders.

This article presents a list of gift ideas which will convey your company’s commitment to sustainability and social investment.

Supporting locally handmade products

  • Crushed Lemon and Free Flow Dezign both have a number of local products made from reclaimed PVC banners and billboards, and tyre waste respectively. Their products include folders, backpacks, cooler-bags and mouse-pads. 
  • Iphepha Beads has a wide range of beaded jewellery, Christmas decorations and bookmarks made from waste paper and cardboard beads, seeds from alien plants, shells, glass and wood.
  • Umcebo design produces art pieces such as chandeliers and lampstands from beads, reused waste and scrap metal, and Ukhamba Craft  produces hats, brooches and mats from textile waste and plastic.
  • The Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust employs local crafters who produce a variety of beadwork crafts such as Christmas decorations, necklaces and tableware.

Supporting conservation

  • Help the Rhinose Foundation raise awareness for Rhino poaching in Africa and Asia by gifting red or green recycled plastic rhino horns which can be attached to the front grill of a vehicle. Rhinoses are available from CNA stores country-wide.
  • Donations can be made to support a number of environmental organisations such as Greenpeace Africa, WESSA, Wildlands Conservation Trust and WWF-South Africa on behalf of an organisation's stakeholders.

Supporting food security

  • Foodbank SA is a non-profit organisation which provides food to needy South Africans. Donations made to Foodbank SA before the 28th of February 2015 will be matched, therefore doubling the impact.
  • Organisations can donate fruit and indigenous trees on behalf of their stakeholders to disadvantaged communities through the Food & Trees for Africa initiative. In exchange the gift recipient will receive a certificate from Food & Trees for Africa in their name.

Supporting local charities

  • Support the local children’s home, school or old age home by donating money on behalf of stakeholders or purchasing items that the facility needs, such as stationery or uniforms. The stakeholder can then be provided with a card from recipients.

Supporting sustainable living

  • There are a number of climate conscious gadgets available from including energy monitors, solar cell phone chargers, solar lights and water saving showerheads.

Organising a tour for stakeholders

  • Another idea would be to take stakeholders on a tour of an organisation or initiative that promotes sustainability. In Durban the “Markets of Warwick” tour provides the opportunity for individuals to support local informal traders at Warwick Junction and to better understand the contribution of traders to the informal economy.

Promoting reusable products

  • Another option is to purchase a set of locally made reusable coffee travel mugs or water bottles and have your company’s logo printed on them. Every year millions of disposable coffee cups and water bottles end up in landfill sites and a gift such as this would help individuals to reduce their impact.

To keep updated with sustainability news subscribe to the fortnightly Urban Earth Newsletter.