PPAI Magazine March 2023

Responsibility | Voices a marketing initiative – it must be baked into your organization’s DNA and operations. Savvy clients expect you to know how a product is made, where it’s made, what it’s made of, who made it and how they are treated, and what happens to it when you are done with it. Gathering and maintaining this data takes commitment. There are many roads to incorporating CSR as a fundamental element of your business. One road is to decide it is a brand differential and go all in. But that is not the only option. For most distributors, a more reasonable approach is to take small steps to curate products that align with your client’s brand. Here are a few tips for you to begin sourcing products that reflect your clients’ brands: • Use the FTC Green Guides as a script for what you can and cannot say. • Conduct an internal review of your key clients and determine if CSR is reflected in their corporate values. If it is, identify the CSR pillars that are most relevant and begin aligning product recommendations with those pillars. • Gather data about the products you sell. Start with the suppliers you do the most business with and begin to collect answers to the kinds of questions mentioned above. • Ask your supplier partners to indicate what they are particularly proud of and tell those stories to clients. Denise is quick to say there is no perfection in the journey toward sustainability. However, the scrapes and hiccups are powerful stories in the journey to improve. • Begin to analyze your own corporate footprint. This alone will make you more sensitive to the environmental impact of the products you source for your clients. There is no easy button for CSR. It takes time, it takes effort and, just like product responsibility, it is a journey, not a destination. But it is a journey of continual improvement that at the end of the day will benefit your client, your conscience and your planet. Stone is the director of member engagement at PPAI. PPAI: 111248 | ASI: 35375 | SAGE: 50327 | UPIC: ACCENTS | DC: 101273 Quick Turn Arounds Low Minimums www.americanaccents.com | 888.287.7883 Scan for pricing! Printed in the USA •Biodegradable •Digitally die cut; no additional fee •Custom shapes available •Digitally printed with 4-Color process •Made from 1/8” fine grain cork •170+ stock shapes available 50 piece minimums! CORK COASTERS PPAI • MARCH 2023 • 31