WARNING: If you are looking for the cheapest promotional products you can possibly find, then this post is not for you. If you could not give a sustainable toss about how and where your promotional products are produced, then we respectfully suggest you read something else. If you are interested and care about Corporate Social Responsibility and Promotional Products, here is what you need to know.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility? It is a term that refers to a company’s commitment to operating in a way that benefits society and its resources. A commitment that is over and above any legal or statutory requirements. And one that is not simply governed by a business’s bottom line or a desire to do the right thing for appearance’s sake only.
Why Does Corporate Social Responsibility Matter to Me? Caring about not only the economical consequences of your company’s actions but also about the social and environmental implications builds the trust of your consumers. In fact, 92% of consumers have a more positive image of companies that support social issues and environmental efforts. In addition, it helps communities (on a local, national or global level), raises public awareness and encourages social change. Essentially, it is packed full of the good stuff, with none of the bad.
What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Look Like? There is a multitude of ways that you can incorporate socially responsible practices into your business. You might look at reducing your carbon footprint, participating in fair trade, introducing policies that benefit the environment or start donating to a charitable cause. When it comes to your marketing and promotional efforts, you should look to partner with businesses and suppliers that have Corporate Social Responsibility practices in place (not just written statements on what they say they do – although that’s a start).
What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Have to do with Promotional Products? Quite frankly – a truckload! Promotional products may not be the biggest spend area for your business or the highest priority to examine, however, they are a high risk area as they’re mostly manufactured offshore, are low cost and come from a multi-tier supply chain. partnering with a supplier who genuinely cares about Corporate Social Responsibility is a must. A supplier who cares about worker’s treatment, hours worked and wages paid. A supplier who cares about their environmental responsibilities and has the highest standards when it comes to product safety and quality.
What Happens with Corporate Social Responsibility if I Source My Promotional Products Direct? We are glad you asked, because this is where things can get tricky for your brand’s reputation. The PPAI’s Social Responsibility Policy for Distributors is very clear that ‘distributors that source direct from overseas partners assume all responsibilities and obligations that would normally fall under an industry supplier.’ Which means, all the complicated, compliant stuff that a company like INCK would take care of – mandatory safety checks, any required testing, ensuring adequate insurance – YOU would need to be on top of. By working with a trusted supplier like INCK (who takes this stuff seriously), you not only mitigate any risk to your reputation but can rest assured your end product will have been responsibly made.
At INCK, we are proud of the relationships we have developed with our factories and of our efforts to ensure supply chain transparency and our ongoing commitment to producing branded merchandise you would be happy to put your name on. So, if you are looking to partner with a socially responsible supplier, please get in touch with us to start what should be a very honest conversation.