A Holistic Approach on Shifting to a Sustainable Card Program
A Holistic Approach on Shifting to a Sustainable Card Program

From the desk of Rebecca Pierce

There are many aspects of moving your card program to a more sustainable footprint that you need to be aware of before making the move. Naturally, consumer preferences are the top priority. Then you have Brand Equity, Stakeholder value, Pricing, Materials and more.  Over the next few blog posts, I will be looking into these topics at a more granular level. I’ll also introduce some new sustainable materials and their benefits that you may not be aware of today.  

Let’s look at consumer preferences and how they will affect your move first. Many of our customers are demanding a more sustainable gift card. They want to know what they are purchasing and gifting is helping our environment.  

Of course, we want to answer that ask, but we need to make sure the card functions just as beautifully as it looks. For example, if your target customers use the cards a few times, load them onto a mobile wallet or redeem with a barcode as opposed to a mag, a paper substrate is probably a good direction to go. If your cards are used at gas pumps, swiped via mag multiple times or other more “wearing” use, you probably want to look at a Chalk, Recycled PVC or another more durable substrate. To add the glitz and flash that gets the customers to choose your cards, there are multiple ink, foil, silk screen and other options available that are green and still allow your cards to be recycled at a curbside level (level 1).  

Then there is the need to let your customers know that they are helping the environment by choosing your card. In one recent survey, 65% said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, yet only about 26% actually do.* We need to make sure our customers know what they are buying so they will choose your card. We think the best way is typically on the card or carrier/backer art itself. A blurb like “this chalk-based card helped save multiple trees” goes a long way! However, if that doesn’t fit in your current program, you could add the message to your display or an add-on message board. There are many opportunities to make sure the message is received, and we can help! As always, PLI is happy to help answer any of your questions and guide you through your transition. Feel free to reach out to your representative or myself.  

Next month, I’ll focus on Brand Equity and the benefits of moving to a more sustainable card program.  

Take care of each other, and we’ll talk to you again next month!  

*Harvard Business Review 



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