2 min read

Advancing Our 2030 Agenda by Responsibly Sourcing Promotional Items

Matt Eaton
VMware Responsible Sourcing

Meeting the needs of the present without compromising future generations is a challenge that every company must face. At VMware, that includes making purchasing decisions that align to our EPIC2 values and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy.

We must strike a balance to protect our many stakeholders, including our customers, shareholders, employees and the planet. We are all responsible for achieving VMware’s 2030 Agenda and ESG goals together, which is why VMware is excited to partner with suppliers in a way that builds a more sustainable, equitable and secure future for all.

Did You Know:

Promo Items Stats

What VMware Is Doing

We recognize the importance of promotional items to our brand engagement, for multiple groups including customers, partners and employees. We also recognize that there is potential for significant waste from these purchases. We need to be stewards of the brand while minimizing impact to the planet. We are excited to announce that moving forward, we will only purchase sustainable and responsibly sourced promotional merchandise.

Some of our guiding principles moving forward include:

  • Avoiding wasteful purchasing and investing in promotional item alternatives, such as providing GlobalGiving vouchers and/or planting trees as part of our commitment to conserve, restore and plant 1 million trees by 2030 in support of the 1t.org mission
  • Allowing time to source sustainably with our preferred vendors—ethical companies whose tier 2 suppliers include B Corps, diverse businesses and vendors supporting 1% for the Planet
  • Sourcing locally and avoiding priority air shipping to avoid unnecessary carbon emissions

We define product categories as 

  • Textiles: 100% recycled materials or natural fibers (such as organic cotton, wool, bamboo, cork, etc.)
  • Drinkware: Stainless, aluminum, recycled plastic; no single use, no new plastic
  • Electronics: Responsible brand, long life, bioplastic when possible
  • Shipping Materials: No new plastic, recyclable, compostable

Today, the market for sustainable promotional items is growing rapidly but is still relatively small. We’re working with our suppliers to ensure that products are readily available. We are hopeful that the market will respond by embracing sustainability so that more companies choose this path. We must all embrace ESG and sustainability initiatives to ensure we do everything we can in the fight against climate change. 

For more information, contact responsiblesourcing@vmware.com to learn more and see how you can get involved.


1. Changing Markets Foundation. “Fossil Fashion: The hidden reliance of fast fashion on fossil fuels.” February 2021.
2. House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee. “Fixing Fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability.” February 5, 2019.
3. World Wildlife Fund. “The Impact of a Cotton T-Shirt.” January 16, 2013.
4. Chemical & Engineering News. “Cutting Out Textile Pollution.” Alex Scott. October 19, 2015.
5. United States Environmental Protection Agency. “Containers and Packaging: Product-Specific Data.”
6. Plastic Oceans International. “The Facts.”
7. United Nations. “The Sustainable Development Goals Report.” 2021.
8. United States Environmental Protection Agency. “National Overview: Facts and Figures on Materials, Wastes and Recycling.”
9. Plastic Oceans International. “The Facts.”