Eco Sense

The Grass is Greener and more sustainable with eco promotional products

Wimbledon Tennis walks the talk in sustainability and hosting an eco-friendly tennis tournament, lessons for all of us intersted in eco promotional products.

It’s that time of the year again, when men and women in pristine white take to the impeccable emerald turf of Wimbledon. During this Wimbledon fortnight a whopping 28,000 kg of strawberries will be consumed, with a fair proportion being provided by a nearby urban farm that lies 179 steps beneath street level in a disused WWII bomb shelter at Clapham Common Underground station.

This is not the first time that Wimbledon has taken steps towards sustainability – in 2016 the 12,000 kgs of smoked and poached salmon and over 16,000 portions of fish and chips came from sustainable Fish Cities. The point is that Wimbledon understand that linking their prestigious name with sustainability is a smart way to position the tournament as being as green as its tennis courts.

By choosing eco promotional products for your next promotion, you’ll be contributing towards sustainability whilst boosting brand recognition in a way that consumers particularly appreciate. However, because promotional products have such a long lifespan it’s important to think carefully about the impression that your giveaways create.

Match Your Promotional Products to Your Sustainability Goals

Try and choose products that support your sustainability goals and initiatives. For example, if your organisation has a waste reduction target, then use promotional items that are reusable, like eco-cotton tote bags. If recycling is a key goal then select items created through recycling.

Think about distribution routes for your promotional items that help to reflect and support your sustainability goals. You could distribute recycled bags to supporters of your charity fundraising efforts, include them in direct mailers and use them to deliver food to the local foodbank.

What Does ‘Green’ Mean Anyway?

Green doesn’t always mean what you think it means, and the level of recycled products in an item can be astonishingly low. It’s always worth talking to your supplier to see how much information they can give you in order to make the most eco-friendly choice available.

If sustainable promotional items are going to form a central plank of your company’s promotions, then acquaint yourself with what ‘green’ terms mean. What’s the difference between ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘organic’? And which one is the best fit for your business? Some research at the buying stage can avoid embarrassing issues later.

Take the Holistic Approach to Sustainability

Sustainability is about more than just the products themselves but the entire lifecycle, including manufacture, packaging and delivery methods. If you want to aim for an end to end green campaign, don’t use environmentally unfriendly packaging methods. Aim for FSC or similar approved paper and water based, environmentally friendly inks, and even consider the parcel tape being applied.

If you want your recipients to know that you’re making a serious commitment to sustainability, then looking at the end to end greening of your campaign creates a great impression. Make sure your customers are aware of the environmentally responsible steps you’ve taken and promote your promotional products.

Encouraging all your coffee loving customers to take their reuseable Americano cups to the local barista, not only will the they get a discount but the planet has one less single use cup a deal to deal with!

Image shows a great example of eco promotional products - a branded Americano re-useable take-away coffee cup
Eco Promotional Products: The Full Colour Wrap Printed Americano Take-away mug

Match Perception and Execution

Eco promotional products convey a high perceived value which will boost your brand image without costing the earth. However, promotional items like eco friendly USB drives and powerbanks will continue to be highly prized and convey a particularly positive message about your company. If you want your organisation to be thought of as innovative and forward thinking, then using innovative products to reflect that is savvy marketing.

Be Transparent

The public are notoriously astute at sniffing out inauthenticity, especially when it comes to a marketing campaign. Do your research and source ethically and your use of green promotional items will be seen as a seamless integration with your organisation’s goals and targets. But be honest about where you are on your green journey, and turn a weakness to an advantage by creating a strong, green narrative that clearly outlines the steps you are taking. Savvy consumers are quick to spot ‘greenwashing’, so don’t hype achievements that don’t exist.

Something for Everyone

The good news is that there’s an eco-friendly promotional item for every recipient that will help you to boost brand recognition while sending a clear message about your environmental awareness. Even if your organisation isn’t showcasing a particular commitment to sustainability through working towards a set goal, you can show your customers that you care enough to make an eco-friendly choice.

For the office, products created from hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly bamboo are increasingly popular, as are journals created from FSC certified or recycled paper. And never neglect the humble printed pen – biodegradable writing instruments, or those created from recycled materials send a very powerful message about leaving a mark without making a mark on the environment. Whatever the products you choose you’ll create positive brand associations.

For the gym, eco-friendly water bottles are a great way of promoting a health and fitness business with the message that you take care of the environment as well as mind, body and general wellbeing.

For the great outdoors, T-shirts, fleeces and caps made from organic cotton, bamboo or recycled materials are one of the most appreciated of all giveaways. They send a strong message about your commitment to sustainability while creating hundreds of impressions when worn repeatedly by satisfied recipients, because green looks good on everybody. Add a recycled or organic tote bag and you create a perfect promotional giveaway that is functional and practical and adds value for your recipients. They’ll find it useful enough to use repeatedly and you’ll reap the benefit of repeated impressions.

Game, Set and Match

Whatever the occasion that you choose to promote with promotional items, be that giving away branded tennis balls to celebrate Wimbledon, or printed water bottles that recipients can take on court or out on their bike, promotional items are an excellent strategic marketing tool. Even the branded pen allows you to significantly boost brand recognition through low cost per impression items. Make those items eco-friendly and you’ll showcase your commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility – a very powerful message that’s win-win, or game, set and match for any business.

The team at Sussex Promotions are proud to be preferred distributors for the Green & Good range of ethical & eco promotional products, please call the sales team on 01273 493618 and talk with one of our promotional product experts for more information.