The Meetings Show
Emirates Old Trafford
Smart Group - Electric Xmas

Employee gifting with environmental benefits made easy


Celebrated in different ways across the world, the end of year holiday season is a time for reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the year ahead, being grateful for what we have, and for sharing precious time with loved ones.

At the same time, the focus can often shift towards the pressure to buy the perfect gifts for your family, friends and your colleagues. Employers often purchase gifts to share with their workforces; to say thank you for their hard work that year, and to mark the end of another year together. But searching for the best employee gifts can often be a difficult task.

Hot chocolate sets, bottles of wine, gift cards and thank you hampers are often the easiest options for these end of year employee gifts, but employee expectations are changing and gifting with environmental benefits is becoming more popular.

Increased demand for employee gifting with environmental benefits

Many companies are changing their approach to gifting, by replacing short term sweet treats with actions for a longer term vision. Some companies choose to donate to charity in place of gifts, however by doing so they sometimes forego the ‘gifting moment’ that we all still value. So how can we achieve both; the positive impact and the meaningful gift? One solution is presented by partnering with Treedom, an innovative platform where you can plant trees remotely, follow the impact of the project online, and digitally gift each tree directly to a colleague to follow as their own.

How a tree can be the perfect Christmas gift

Treedom first created its platform for transparency and accountability. Through it, you can view every single tree planted online with its unique picture, geo-coordinates, species information, local uses and stories from the project it’s planted in.

The platform has evolved however, into a unique gifting platform where companies can not only achieve topline progress against their sustainability goals, but via a simple link or a QR code, they can gift each tree planted directly to a colleague with one click.

Tree keepers can follow their tree, post stories of it on their social media, rename the tree to something special, and follow the positive story of its project for years to come. The good news for companies is, because the company logo and message is shown on the Company Forest page that the tree belongs to, with every update your colleagues will be reminded that they work for a responsible employer, who has taken a positive step for the planet on their behalf.

Christmas is a time to give and to give back, and while there are communities in the world where education is difficult to access, there isn’t always enough food for everyone, and adults can struggle to find decent work – we want to pursue a world where Christmas is more about giving back to those who need it, and less about hot chocolate sets that will go in the re-gifting drawer.  

Treedom plants cacao trees for their valuable product to be sold at market, mango trees to provide fruit, acacia trees to nourish the soil with nutrients, and big banana trees for the shade it provides to smaller plants like coffee trees and other crops.  The variety of trees means a choice of gifting options too.  A coffee tree for your caffeine loving colleague or a caoba tree for your animal obsessed friend.

Sustainability makes business sense too, even at Christmas

We all want to contribute to a better future but at Christmas, our intention gap is often the largest.  Being green isn’t just about intentions though, it also makes business sense.

If more companies become forward-looking and sustainable, this will not only lead to a greener future, it will also pay off. According to studies, companies that are particularly committed to the environment and social issues experience higher growth than their competitors on average, even in the long term. 

This means that business growth and commitment to a sustainable future are not mutually exclusive. So, why not take action? The best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is now.

Why tree-planting is so important

Treedom plants trees all over the world, within communities where a huge social and environmental benefits can be achieved. The social benefits can include reducing poverty, employing women and addressing gender inequality, providing a means of additional income via fruit-bearing trees, and even growing food to feed families and communities year round. 

There are firsthand accounts of Treedom trees really becoming part of the community; a comfortable shaded meeting spot for important discussions, the frame of a swing for the children in the neighbourhood and home to wildlife that draws travellers to visit.


There is a right tree, in the right place, for the right time

Besides the all-important carbon absorption that we all know trees deliver for our planet, other environmental benefits are also delivered; increased biodiversity, improved soil health and ecosystem restoration.

Our methodology is very specific because we know to really achieve progress for the future means planting the right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose.

Often mistakenly pushed as the silver bullet against climate change (there’s no such one thing), the strategy to simply ‘plant more trees’ is justifiably interrogated within environmental circles. This interrogation is necessary, because unfortunately many projects prioritise scale and speed over integrity. That approach results in monoculture trees being planted en masse.  Without biodiversity balance and without considering the social and educational support needed within a community to ensure long-term success. It’s no surprise that projects like this cause far more damage than good.

If done well, however – the right species, in the right place, with the right support for its owner and their land – planting trees can achieve much more than environmental benefits. By planting crop-yielding trees, with a mix of species that will ecologically nourish each other, on smallholder farms owned by individuals (who want to learn, have families to feed and communities to support) – we can create multi-faceted social projects whose positive impact reaches further than we can measure.

Provided this methodology is safeguarded regardless of size, incredible impact can be achieved on a huge scale.  With Treedom you really can give a gift for the future and join the mission to green the planet.

Employee gifting with environmental benefits is seen as a big positive and benefits the organisation’s workforce wellbeing too as employee engagement is higher in environmentally conscious companies.