Green Loyalty Programs: How to Drive Sustainable Customer Engagement?

To operate and grow, a business should be honest and make sustainable choices. It should also share the same values as its customers, not just in statements but in actions. Have you ever wondered how your company can build lasting customer loyalty? Read our article to learn how to create initiatives that not only will help the environment, but also increase customer satisfaction and positively impact your business.

Building customer engagement and loyalty starts with providing value to customers and showing them that they can make a difference. An example of such an activity is Green Loyalty, which allows you to combine customer engagement with actual environmental action.

What is Green Loyalty?

Green Loyalty is a program that rewards customers for environmentally responsible purchasing decisions and behaviors. Under this program, customers receive benefits for choosing green products and services and for taking actions that have a positive impact on the planet.

Green loyalty programs engage customers in environmentally responsible actions by encouraging them to make conscious consumer choices. This can include choosing green products, recycling packaging, reducing carbon emissions, or supporting environmental organizations. Through green loyalty, consumers not only benefit from products and services that align with their environmental values, but also receive rewards and benefits that increase their engagement and loyalty to the brand.

Why is Green Loyalty important?

The 21st century is the era of conscious consumerism. Environmentally conscious consumers now consider not only quality and price, but also the ethical and environmental impact of products. Up to 60% of customers are willing to pay more for green products. Green Loyalty is the answer to the demands of the modern consumer. Today's customers are not only more aware, but also demand a fair approach. Green loyalty programs are one of the latest loyalty trends. Meeting their expectations will bring many benefits to the brand.

  • Positive impact on brand reputation - A green image can be a powerful competitive differentiator. It's worth investing in such initiatives, as up to 80% of consumers prefer sustainable brands. Many customers are also willing to pay more if the product is sustainably sourced.
  • Impact on consumer behavior - As many as 70% of Americans consider sustainability when making a purchase, which means that actively implementing environmental initiatives and implementing sustainable loyalty programs can deliver far greater benefits to the brand than traditional loyalty programs. In addition, up to 60% of customers are willing to pay more for green products.
  • Positive impact on long-term business growth - Companies that prioritize sustainable development and customer loyalty are more likely to succeed in the long run. It's definitely worth the effort, as sustainable business practices can reduce operating costs by up to 60%.

Green loyalty has a positive impact on the functioning of a brand in every aspect, from building customer loyalty to operational aspects. It is particularly important in the context of the younger generations, who are just entering the job market and therefore have their own means and make independent consumer choices.

How important is sustainability to Gen Z consumers?

Research shows that Gen Z and Millennials consumers care about sustainability and are significantly more concerned about the environmental impact of their choices. To reach them, companies must operate in a way that aligns with their lifestyles and encourages ethical consumer choices.

Green Loyalty: Challenges

Despite the many benefits of green loyalty programs, there are challenges that companies face in implementing green initiatives and managing them.

One of the biggest challenges is balancing two types of loyalty: transactional and emotional. Encouraging customers to make purchases and promoting sustainable behaviors can sometimes seem contradictory. Loyalty programs often focus on rewarding customers for their transactions, which can be difficult to reconcile with promoting actions related to sustainable development.

The solution is to set realistic goals for the company and engage customers in achieving them. One such goal might be to reduce the production of unnecessary products and minimize the waste generated by the company. One way to achieve this could be to resell used and refurbished products at a lower price than new models.

5 Short- and long-term benefits of Green Loyalty

The benefits of Green Loyalty for companies are numerous and can have a significant impact on their long-term success. Here are some key benefits:

1. Building a positive brand image: Moving to a green approach in loyalty programs can enhance a brand's reputation as environmentally responsible. Customers are more likely to choose brands that demonstrate a commitment to the environment, which can help build a positive brand image.

2. Increased customer loyalty: Sustainability-oriented loyalty programs can effectively increase customer loyalty. The importance of customer loyalty is significant because it provides a competitive advantage in many aspects of business.

3. Stand out from the competition: In today's world where more and more consumers are becoming environmentally conscious, brands that offer green loyalty programs can differentiate themselves from the competition. This can lead to benefits such as attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.

4. Cost savings: Loyal customers are willing to spend more with a brand they feel an emotional or value connection to. Loyalty programs based on green values can therefore help increase customer lifetime value and profitability for the company. While initial investments in green loyalty programs may be higher, the long-term financial benefits can outweigh these costs.

5. Positive environmental impact: Transitioning to green loyalty programs can help reduce the negative impact of a company's operations on the environment. This can include promoting sustainable products and services, encouraging customers to make green choices, and reducing resource and energy consumption.

Does sustainability increase customer loyalty?

Customers aligned with a brand's environmental values tend to exhibit higher loyalty and make more frequent purchases.  Studies indicate that up to 60% of Americans view climate change as a significant concern, implying that adopting environmentally friendly practices can enhance brand perception.

Green Loyalty can bring many benefits to companies, including reputation, customer loyalty, increased sustainability awareness and social and environmental responsibility. As a result, more and more companies are choosing to implement green loyalty programs as part of their business strategy.

How Industries Can Explore Green Loyalty

In many industries, especially those facing social and regulatory pressures, there is a growing interest in implementing innovative loyalty programs that encourage environmentally responsible behavior among customers. However, creating an effective green loyalty strategy can be challenging because each company operates differently and each loyalty scheme targets different types of customers. Here are some practical tips to help you navigate the realities of your business.

Fuel industry:

  • Rewarding green choices, such as using electric car chargers, with discounts or points.
  • Offering benefits related to environmental support, such as donations to environmental organizations.
  • Rewarding the recycling of fuel packaging with points or discounts. Special collection points for such packaging can be set up at the station.

Fashion industry:

  • Rewarding purchases of clothing from eco-friendly lines
  • Rewarding customers for bringing in used clothing for recycling
  • Offer special deals on refurbished used products that cannot be sold as new

Food industry:

  • Rewarding customers for using reusable packaging, such as offering discounts on products like fruits and vegetables
  • Encourage the purchase of local and organic products through loyalty programs
  • Encourage the purchase of food that is still edible but nearing its expiration date to reduce food waste.

Tourism industry:

  • Reward customers for traveling by low-impact modes of transportation, such as trains, public transportation, or choosing electric cars over gasoline vehicles.
  • Offer special discounts to customers who choose green alternatives that are tailored to their interests, such as offers for using electric cars.
  • Offer customers discounts for group travel to fill all seats in a vehicle and reduce the carbon footprint per person.

Tech industry:

  • Rewarding customers for recycling used electronics through special loyalty programs
  • Offer discounts on the purchase of green technology products, such as energy-efficient appliances or smartphones made from eco-friendly materials.
  • Encourage digital green behaviors, such as using e-invoices instead of paper bills, for which customers can earn bonus loyalty points.

How To Build A Green Loyalty Program

Creating a sustainable loyalty program can be a critical step for companies looking to engage customers in environmental action. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you build such a program:

1. Choose sustainable actions to reward

Select green actions that align with your brand's mission and character. Determine which specific green behaviors you want to encourage through your loyalty program. You can reward customers for offsetting CO2 emissions from travel, recycling used products, or other sustainable practices.

2. Choose a Loyalty Program Software

Choose a software that gives you the flexibility to configure your loyalty program to include environmental actions. Utilizing the services of an experienced and reputable loyalty program provider is key to success. It allows you to focus on building customer relationships while the provider handles the technical aspects, such as maintaining the IT infrastructure.

3. Select rewards for customers

Determine what rewards you want to offer customers for their sustainable actions. This could include loyalty points, discounts on future purchases, free shipping, or exclusive offers for loyalty program members.

4. Customize communication

Tailor your customer communication to promote your green loyalty program. Send out information about rewards, encourage customers to participate in green activities, and emphasize the value of their commitment to environmental goals.

5. Measure results and make improvements

Monitor and measure the results of your loyalty program on a regular basis. Analyze which actions are most effective and adjust the program based on the data collected.

Creating a green loyalty program can not only increase customer engagement, but also help your company achieve sustainable development goals.

6 Real-world examples of green loyalty programs

Creating a successful green loyalty program that reflects the character of the brand is no easy task. But with the right effort, it's possible to develop a program that perfectly complements the brand's brand values, and effectively engages customers. A common element used in such campaigns is the green reward.

What is an example of a green reward?

An example of a green reward could be incentivizing environmentally friendly customer behaviors with discounts or points that can be redeemed for rewards. These behaviors can include using reusable packaging or choosing environmentally friendly alternatives.

Here are examples of the best green loyalty strategies that demonstrate why it pays to invest in sustainable business development:

Costa Coffee

The coffee chain rewards customers for making responsible and environmentally friendly choices. The Costa Club Loyalty Scheme allows customers to collect extra points - "green beans" - for buying coffee in their own reusable cups. A certain number of accumulated points can be exchanged for an extra free coffee.

The program not only encourages customers to visit the stores more often, but also generates additional revenue. The chain can promote the use of branded reusable cups, which not only reminds customers of the brand, but also builds positive associations related to the ability to make an impact on the environment.


The apparel company launched the Worn Wear recycling rewards program, which is based on the concept of reclaiming and reusing used Patagonia products. Customers can bring their old clothes to the brand's stores and earn points that can be used to purchase new products. Repaired products can be purchased at a reduced price on the brand's website. If a particular model is no longer available, customers can always buy a new one.

This program combines environmental values with customer benefits. It provides an opportunity to help reduce textile waste and encourages the purchase of sustainable Patagonia products.


The REI Loyalty Program, a company that sells outdoor gear, gives members access to special discounts and the opportunity to exchange used equipment for gift cards. Through a loyalty program tailored to the needs of its customers, the company is building a strong community of outdoor enthusiasts guided by environmental values.


Madewell's loyalty program rewards customers for returning old jeans, regardless of brand, by offering a discount on the purchase of new products. The returned products are used to produce insulation for homes. The program helps promote recycling and a sustainable approach to fashion. Customers appreciate the opportunity to help reduce textile waste and are rewarded for their actions.


EILEEN FISHER's Green Loyalty Program encourages customers to donate gently used clothing in exchange for exclusive access to new sustainable collections, early previews and sustainable fashion workshops. In this way, customers feel engaged in environmental stewardship and rewarded for their actions.


With every purchase from the Tentree brand, the company pledges to plant ten trees. Customers can track the progress of their planted seedlings through the Impact Wallet app and statistics displayed on the website. The program not only engages customers in reforestation efforts, but also celebrates each, even the smallest, eco-friendly behavior of customers.

TK Maxx

The TK Maxx loyalty program offers customers eco-friendly rewards that change periodically and are sometimes surprising. These rewards include woven plates, bamboo straws and other reusable or degradable items. Customers can also donate rewards to charity. This builds customer loyalty by providing rewards and opportunities to support local communities.

Discover the potential of green loyalty programs with Comarch!

Green loyalty programs based on sustainable practices are becoming a key tool for companies aiming to build a loyal customer base and promote sustainable development. By acting in line with environmental values and supporting sustainable practices, brands can build stronger relationships with customers and gain their trust.

Want to create your own sustainable loyalty program and gain an edge over the competition? Contact us today to learn more details and start building your green loyalty strategy together with Comarch!

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