Our gift card teams are always on the lookout for opportunities to support our global brand and merchant partners’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies. Our own sustainability journey began more than 10 years ago when we started transitioning the closed-loop gift cards we manage from plastic to a more renewable material: paper. Today, over 90% of the closed-loop gift cards that we purchase annually from our contracted printers are made of paper!
A New Standard for Paper-Based Gift Cards
While we are proud of this accomplishment, we continue to explore new ways of improving gift card sustainability. Most recently, we have focused on ensuring that the paper sourced for closed-loop gift card printing that we manage comes from responsibly managed forests. That’s why we are collaborating with our printing partners to identify paper suppliers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable forestry. Products made with timber from FSC-certified forests bear the nonprofit’s logo on their label to show they’re made with responsibly sourced paper.
This spring, we are making FSC-certified paper the standard for the paper-based closed-loop gift cards we purchase from our printing partners. This will enable the conversion of several hundred million closed-loop gift cards that we manage to a material that is both renewable and sustainably sourced. As an added bonus, our global partners who opt for FSC-certified paper gift cards will have the nonprofit’s logo printed on their cards, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability to their customers.
How Your Gift Card Program Can Support Your Sustainability Initiatives
Transitioning from plastic to FSC-certified paper is just one way we can help improve the sustainability of your gift card program. Other solutions and opportunities we can explore include:
- Reducing waste by using forecasting tools to track demand and guide gift card printing
- Incorporating digital gift cards to complement your physical gift card offerings
- Changing the redemption method of closed-loop gift cards from swiping a magstripe to scanning a barcode, which better enables the use of paper card substrates
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