Ever since we launched Giftpro, one of our most important goals has been to give back more than we take, both to our planet and the amazing people who would work for us.
In simple terms, that meant both striving for carbon neutrality (then positivity) and going the extra mile when it comes to the happiness, security and overall wellness of our team.
Much of this is very easily said, but by listening to our people and partnering with some next-generation environmental organisations we’ve implemented some great ideas that have helped unite us in building a more planet and people conscious business, which all started with…
By far the biggest cost that Giftpro has on the environment is the production and transport of our clients’ cardboard gift voucher wallets, so we began our environmental journey by looking for ways to offset the carbon associated to their overall life-cycle.
In August 2019 we started working with MyClimate who help companies offset their carbon emissions through a mix of initiatives around the world. So each year we provide a new calculation based on the weight of our clients’ wallets (in total) and the distance they travel (on average) which is then used to establish how many carbon credits we need to buy.
As we help a number of our clients design their gift voucher packaging we’re also putting an emphasis on using recycled stock which is now easier than ever with brands like G.F Smith’s Extract paper (made from recycled coffee cups) and Green Seal certified Neenah Environment (made from 30% post consumer waste)
Many of our clients are starting to request planet-friendly stock for their packaging and we’re delighted to be working with a number of suppliers who can offer everything from 100% recycled card and plastic, right through to fully traceable, bespoke paper blends that are created from waste.
To compensate for the carbon emissions associated to our team’s lives we’ve partnered with Ecologi who base Giftpro’s contribution on the number of staff we have and the average amount of carbon we each generate based on factors such as how much we travel etc.
Although we’ve only been live with Ecologi for 4 months, we’ve already reduced our carbon emissions by 38.84t and planted 568 trees around the world (at time of writing). You can view our public dashboard here which is updated each month and gives a breakdown of some of the projects Ecologi are working on.
At this stage, our priority is to neutralise our impact, but we hope to live up to our bigger goal of becoming carbon positive as soon as we can.
Our office in the New Forest is built to minimise its impact on the environment, our LED lighting is based on movement, so we waste as little energy as possible, much of our power and heating comes from a huge bank of solar panels on our roof and for the few of us who have electric vehicles charging ports are provided outside.
Inside, we ensure all of our cardboard waste is recycled, we have separate recycling bins for office waste and we have more plants than we do people, which we can’t claim has a meaningful impact on the planet, but hopefully encourages a sense of responsibility towards our green friends (along with cleaner air).
Our owners, ClearCourse also contribute with initiatives like their investment into Ocean Bottles for all of our team which remove 1000 bottles of plastic from the ocean for each bottle made and reduce the need to buy drinks in disposable plastic packaging.
Our minds and bodies
We know that a happy team = a more conscientious team, we’re big advocates for staff wellness and we appreciate that although that can mean different things to different people there are a number of ‘fundamentals’ we believe that set the foundations for a healthy, happy team.
We believe this starts with basic ‘life-security’ like a fair wage, rewards for good performance, flexible working and private healthcare, but a whole-person approach requires us to live by our mission and values, listen to our people and actually take action, which we hope we’re getting better at all of the time.
At the office, every single team member, including our entire fulfilment team have electric height adjustable desks, so we all have the option to combat that hunched, agitated feeling that a day of sitting can bring – whilst some of the team even have under-desk treadmills so they can burn calories whilst they work!
We know that moderating our blood sugar and eating a healthy diet has a huge impact on our energy and mood so we stock our kitchen with free organic snacks that we buy from Forest Wholefoods along with a variety of herbal teas and fruit, and to align with our environmental goals, we try to source from the most ethical suppliers we can find.
Our mental health has a huge effect on our physical well-being, so in collaboration with the ClearCourse HR department we make time to discuss this each year, share initiatives and try to nurture a supportive, collaborative culture that is comfortable for introverts, extroverts and everyone in between.
The list could go on and in isolation much of the above could be seen as a given, but cumulatively we’re pleased with the progress we’ve made towards meeting our original goal of being a company that gives back to our planet and our people in as many ways as possible.