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SunLife spearheads use of biodegradable Love2shop gift cards

SunLife has announced its switch from using plastic Love2shop gift cards to an environmentally friendly, compostable alternative.

It follows a positive reaction to a customer trial which tested the use of biodegradable (or ‘board card’) gift cards.

SunLife has offered Love2shop gift cards to customers since 2018. In contrast to plastic gift cards, the new sustainably sourced and manufactured ‘board card’ gift cards are made from 100% virgin fibres and their material can be recycled up to eight times.

SunLife distributes a high volume of Love2shop gift cards as a thank you to customers following the purchase of life insurance, mainly for people over the age of 50.

From January this year, customers have received the new biodegradable cards when taking out their policy.

Jon Moore, head of operations, SunLife, said: ‘As we continue to integrate new measures to develop our approach to sustainability, our decision to use biodegradable gift cards is another positive step in introducing environmentally friendly materials into our business.’

The initial trial of introducing biodegradable cards saw positive feedback from customers, prompting the first order to provider Appreciate Business Services to fully replace the previously used plastic gift card.

‘We were delighted when we were approached by SunLife to help develop their work on sustainability. We have enjoyed providing Love2shop customer reward gifting products to SunLife since 2018 – an ‘all rounder’ gift that appeals to everyone – so this was a great opportunity to develop that relationship,’ said Frank Creighton, director of business development at Appreciate Business Services.

‘Our biggest challenge was sourcing a fully biodegradable product that didn’t compromise on the ease of use, nor the quality of finish without also placing a financial burden upon the customer. The sorts of materials that all companies deploy in gifting, engagement and incentive programmes will inevitably change over time.

‘The trial with SunLife reflects the broader business appetite for developing knowledge and expertise in the gifting sector to accommodate the growing ambition to address sustainability. Helping SunLife to create a more environmentally friendly future has been an incredible achievement. We are exceptionally proud that the trials prompted such a successful outcome.’

The new biodegradable Love2shop Gift Cards are supplied by Swedish paper and board manufacturer Oppboga, with a metallic foil element supplied by British foil specialist Foilco.

Foilco’s metal coating technology allows for the card to carry metallic motifs and designs without affecting biodegradability or the recycling process of the Oppboga card.

The board card Love2shop gift cards can be recycled without separating the foil component, and will biodegrade in 12 months after use.

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