Issue 2 2024

News Corporate Visiopn CORPORATE GREETINGS EXPERIENCE A TREND SHIFT AS SUSTAINABILITY LEADS New research by James Cropper, a leader in Advanced Materials and Paper Products, has highlighted a shift in the way businesses celebrate key moments with customers and stakeholders alike. Evolving preferences among C-suite executives and directors are driving a growing consciousness towards sustainability and purposeful communication. Traditionally, leaders would send greeting cards to their stakeholders to show gratitude and support during the year, particularly at Christmas. However, research conducted by the papermaker with 500 C-suite executives and directors shows that this practice is changing. Leaders are looking for more sustainable options. Almost a third[1] of the 500 respondents expressed a preference for corporate greeting cards that also have a secondary purpose, a sentiment well-aligned with James Cropper’s dedication to sustainable growth. Despite society’s rapid digitisation, 15% of executives found digital cards to be a poor substitute for traditional greetings, underscoring the enduring appeal of tangible, tactile experiences and challenging the assumption that digital alternatives are universally well-received. Jordan Scott, Marketing Communications Manager at James Cropper, says: “As leaders in innovative paper solutions, we recognise the need for purposeful and sustainable choices in today’s business landscape. The research we’ve undertaken shows that this extends to all communications of the business, including the greeting cards that are sent. “We recently partnered with Hallmark to create a corporate greeting card which symbolises hope, a fresh start, sustainability, and innovation. The card has been designed for second use as decorative floral ornament or thank you piece, allowing for a perpetual sentiment that extends beyond the confines of a few weeks and is a gift that could last a lifetime.” Working with Hallmark Cards UK to create the ‘New Beginnings’ card marks the first time James Cropper has partnered with a customer for its annual greeting to all of its stakeholders. The latest project reaffirms the long standing partnership between James Cropper and Hallmark after the papermaker created a card collection using waste from disposable coffee cups. driving forward sustainable alternatives to make an impact. As two, family businesses with innovation and caring at the heart of their values, the companies are working towards a world that’s less wasteful and more beautiful. Eve Gray, Creative Development Director, says: “Continuing to build our relationship with James Cropper through this collaboration, has really demonstrated the possibilities of thinking differently and collectively. With innovation and caring as core values for both companies, that synergy led to an exciting project with sustainability and creativity at its heart.” Jordan concludes: “Our latest collaboration with Hallmark showcases the capabilities of our partnership and our excitement for the future. In today’s world, we must be agile and adapt to a continual changing landscape and this project demonstrates one example of how we are doing this.” [1] 27% of C-Suite executives and directors Virgin Money introduces new self-certification scheme to help businesses highlight their commitment to sustainability Virgin Money has introduced a new self-certification scheme to its Sustainable Business Coach, designed to help businesses better demonstrate their commitments to sustainability and get on the path to achieving their environmental and social goals. The Future-Fit Engaged self-certification scheme is the first of its kind in banking and has been developed by Virgin Money in partnership with Future-Fit Foundation, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to catalyse the transition to a regenerative society. The free-to-use tool, which can be accessed via Virgin Money’s Sustainable Business Coach app, enables businesses to set environmental and social ambitions, take better day-to-day decisions to achieve these and demonstrate their progress to stakeholders, with the self-certification achieved when they meet the Future-Fit Engaged criteria. The scheme forms part of the Sustainable Business Coach, which helps companies to determine the impact of their business on the environment and wider society, prioritise their sustainability targets and the actions required to meet these and track delivery. To qualify for self-certification through Future-Fit Engaged, businesses need to complete five key actions: 1. Register for and complete the Virgin Money Sustainable Business Coach. 2. Take action on at least one high priority goal determined by the coach to meet the requirements of the business. 3. Assign a business owner to monitor progress against these actions and goals. 4. Discuss the progress at a board/senior management meeting to ensure sustainability becomes a focal point for accountability and action. 5. Set a date to review and report on progress. Once complete, companies will receive their Future-Fit Engaged self-certification and can display their logo alongside other businesses on the Future-Fit website to showcase that they are on the path to achieving their sustainability goals to their customers, colleagues and other organisations. Scott McFarlane, sustainability lead for business banking at Virgin Money, said: “Customers and stakeholders rightly expect businesses of all sizes to prioritise ESG and demonstrate actions to minimise their environmental and social impact. The new Future-Fit Engaged self-certification on our Sustainable Business Coach apps helps SMEs to educate themselves on the most effective ways to operate more sustainably and make positive decisions to achieve this, backed by clear goals and progress tracking. Offering access to a straightforward, independent certification that will encourage more resilient and sustainable businesses, is just one way we’re helping change business for good in partnership with Future-Fit Foundation.” Martin Rich, CEO & Co-founder, Future-Fit Foundation, said: “Future-Fit Engaged recognises a company’s first steps on the journey to becoming a truly regenerative business. We’re therefore delighted to continue deepening our partnership with Virgin Money in this way and working together on supporting businesses to build a flourishing future for all.”