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Sustainability in Tech - Making an impact, one gift at a time

Hope Tierney
April 4, 2022

This article is part of the blog series: “… in Tech”, where we ask one of our teammates at Snappy to give us their experience as a member of their community, specifically what working at a tech startup means to them as an individual and on a societal level. It’s important to share these stories to better understand the experiences that may not be our own.

Living in New York City quickly makes you realize the impact people have on the environment. With over 8 million people living and working in a densely populated area across five boroughs, you quickly notice changes. 

From significant policy changes to individual choices, it’s incredible how much the city has changed. Watching videos from the 70s and 80s, I think it’s fantastic to see how people have made an effort to clean up the city, even though we still have a long way to go. Don’t get me wrong – I love living in the city – which is why I make an effort to do my part in making choices that positively impact the environment and my community.

From microplastics to air pollution, we’re seeing the effects of climate change across the globe. To me, living sustainably is being more conscious of daily decisions – like recycling, unplugging chargers and lights when not in use, choosing a reusable silicone bag instead of a single-use plastic bag, reducing meat consumption, etc. Every little change counts. 

Our small choices contribute to the greater impact we have on the environment, so it’s important to me to always keep that in the back of my mind.

More than just eco-friendly

From “eco-friendly” to “sustainable” to “green” and countless terms in between, there are plenty of ways to describe products. As an organization, we use Sustainability because it’s a more holistic term that encompasses environmental, social, and economic impacts of the product and its production.

In contrast, “eco-friendly” only focuses on whether a product harms the planet. While the “no-harm” approach is important, a sustainable product is much more beneficial in the long run because it contributes to the conservation of our community and environment at large and does not imperil the quality of life for future generations.

As a Partnerships Manager at Snappy, I love focusing on finding sustainable gifts. It’s important that all gifts are useful for everyday life, including sustainable gift options. We want to make sure that people can easily integrate sustainability into their daily lives by offering gifts they would use regularly and are sustainably sourced. 

For instance, in our Sustainability Collection, we offer a pillowcase set made from “100% biodegradable bamboo fibers”, an indoor herb garden kit from a brand that plants “hundreds of millions of trees to replenish our forests”, and a trio of pickle jars with “locally and organically sourced ingredients from farmers receiving close to double the minimum wage in pay per hour.”

These sustainable corporate gift options are items that people will likely buy on their own but may not choose the sustainable option right away. We hope to show people how easy it is to make a sustainable choice every day.

Sustainability is more important than ever

Today, sustainability is top-of-mind for consumers and businesses. We see it in the way that many consumer goods are produced and marketed now, with a lot more transparency from brands regarding supply chain and sustainability efforts.

Many retailers are starting to make labels/stamps to put on their products that are considered sustainable, or at least creating specific assortment pages with all products they consider sustainable to guide conscious shoppers. 

Consumers deeply care about how their products are produced, and in turn, brands and retailers have to prove to customers why they should choose their products over another.

We measure sustainability based on:

  • A brand’s commitment to sourcing its materials or ingredients sustainably 
  • Manufacturing their products ethically
  • Giving back a portion of their proceeds to an environmental organization 

We also ask partners to give us some context as to what makes their brand sustainable so that we can effectively relay that information to our customers.

In our Sustainability Collection, our curators have been super-diligent about documenting each brand’s sustainability efforts to ensure our customers are given clear information about what makes each brand or gift sustainable.

Making an impact on an organizational level

In addition to our Sustainability Collection, in 2021, we started Snappy Gives Back, our employee-driven philanthropic program where we volunteer at local non-profit organizations and make weekly donations through GoodToday via Slack!

While this is a significant step, we’re making more strides by opening up the conversation to the whole Snappy community, creating an official forum with our Sustainability Employee Resource Group (ERG), and developing actionable plans on which to execute. 

It’s been so exciting to see the enthusiasm and passion of the members of our ERG already. Everyone is eager to contribute their ideas and experiences, and I believe we can significantly impact the company! 

We’re planning to measure our Snappy carbon footprint and create a strategy of how we can reduce it, increase our portfolio of sustainable partners, and support our local communities through group activities, among other goals. I’m grateful to all my fellow Snappy, who are pivotal to making this group happen.

Looking forward

I was a member of the Sustainability ERG at my last company and always felt motivated by the potential to create tangible change. When our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Manager, Gabbie Moore, gave her presentation at our Company Kickoff in February, I was inspired by what she was working on and felt encouraged to step up and propose the Sustainability ERG! 

Living sustainably and learning more about how we as people and companies can better protect our planet has always been my passion. I was very excited to have the opportunity to start a group with my colleagues who share my passion and are committed to making a change one small change at a time. 

How you can make an impact

By making choices in purchasing more sustainable products, supporting small businesses, and making small, incremental changes every day, you’ll notice how easy it is to help our environment and influence others to do the same. If you’re a current Snappy customer, check out our updated Sustainable Gift Collection in your Snappy Dashboard. Or if you’re interested to learn how Snappy makes choosing a sustainable gift easier, sign up for our demo!

Learn more about our sustainable gift options with our Sustainable Gift Guide!
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