PPAI Magazine November 2023

TABLE 4. Has your company implemented a comprehensive office recycling program that includes monitoring and reporting? Yes No PPAI 100 Distributors 70% 30% Distributors $250M+ 90% 10% Distributors $50M-$250M+ 58% 42% Distributors $5M-$50M 39% 61% Distributors Under $5M 27% 73% “As usual, the larger companies have a larger percentage of participation in all the areas because they most likely devote personnel and resources to them and can justify them due to their volume,” Tate says. “Smaller distributors aren’t willing to deploy the resources due to the cost.” TABLE 5. Roughly what percentage of the products you sold in 2022 were marketed as sustainable? PPAI 100 Distributors 21% Distributors $250M+ 23% Distributors $50M-$250M 24% Distributors $5M-$50M 22% Distributors Under $5M 29% “In order to ensure we’re moving in the right direction and setting realistic but also ambitious goals, distributors must be able to measure and track our sales based on impact-driven categories, such as sustainability, DEI, small business, etc.,” Hubner says. “It’s not a secret that most of us are still trying to figure out the most efficient and accurate way to do that,” she adds. “At Brand Fuel, we believe this process starts by increasing communication and collaboration between distributors and suppliers. We all hold a piece of the puzzle – we just need to come together and create a common system for categorizing products and tracking sales.” A seeming anomaly is that PPAI 100’s industry-leading distributors say they sold fewer products marketed on sustainable grounds than other segments. Alok Bhat, PPAI’s market economist and senior manager of research, explains there is likely some self-selection bias among smaller segment companies that elected to take the responsibility survey. Likewise, larger companies may be more careful about their claims to avoid greenwashing concerns. TABLE 6. Has your company invested in solar power or another form of reusable energy at your office(s)? Yes No PPAI 100 Distributors 30% 70% Distributors $250M+ 70% 30% Distributors $50M-$250M+ 16% 84% Distributors $5M-$50M 13% 87% Distributors Under $5M 0% 100% Considering their lack of resources, it’s no surprise that distributors with $50 million and under in revenue face challenges in matching the sustainability efforts of their larger counterparts. “Still, the survey underscores the growing importance of CSR, highlighting the need for all businesses to incorporate sustainability into their strategies to meet evolving consumer and stakeholder expectations,” Simpson says. TABLE 7. Does your company have an established give-back program donating any percentage of revenue to a charitable cause? Yes No PPAI 100 Distributors 61% 39% Distributors $250M+ 100% 0% Distributors $50M-$250M+ 53% 47% Distributors $5M-$50M 57% 44% Distributors Under $5M 67% 33% Philanthropy is a pillar of the promo industry, as evidenced by more than half of distributors in each category having an established give-back program. Many firms partner with charities for fundraising efforts and volunteering opportunities to make a difference in their community. Must Read | The State of Responsibility 2023 54 • NOVEMBER 2023 • PPAI