Children & Sustainable Society
As Ivan Colecchia, SVP Global Development of Kidz Global, points out in an interview in the June-July 2021 issue of the Italian Toy Store magazine, "it was already very clear from the Nuremberg trade fair in 2020 that the main focus was on this issue. Philippe Guinaudeau, our CEO, was invited to talk about it during the fair and we conducted a survey which was then replicated and expanded internationally on some key markets such as the USA, France, Germany, China and others. When I visited the stands of the world's leading manufacturers, I saw that almost all of them had dedicated part of their new launches to the mission of sustainability, e.g. using recycled plastic. The name of the Survey is Children & Sustainable Society".
More and more toy companies commit to sustainability
Over the last few years, in fact, the attention of licensors and licensees towards the theme of sustainability has become increasingly high: the main Toy companies, in fact, such as Crayola, Lego, Mattel, Hasbro, Simba Toys and Imc Toys, but also local Italian producers such as Clementoni, Mondo Toys, Dal Negro and Educational, have committed themselves in this direction. As, for example, Marisa De Zorzi, Marketing Manager of Crayola - Binney Smith points out: "Green is the symbolic colour of Crayola, we are very interested in the theme of environmental sustainability because we are aware that the planet's resources are not infinite, and we believe it is essential to do everything in our power to ensure that children live in a healthy environment where they can express their creativity. We at Crayola have thought of sustainability as a path where being sustainable means improving day by day, investing in renewable energy and reducing the environmental impact".
And Alessandra Lisciani, CEO of Educational continues: "Sustainability is a concept strongly connected to that of ecology. For us, being ecological is a choice of responsibility and design creativity, a natural emanation of our way of making boxed games. In Ludattica, in fact, the passion for games created from simple materials of natural origin, such as paper and cardboard, is combined with the study of ingenious and innovative technical solutions that create sustainable alternatives to plastic materials. For us, sustainability also means short chain business organisation, production and design strictly made in Italy, control over the optimisation of production processes, and careful and conscious management of packaging, packaging and transport. In short, sustainability is a concept that accompanies each of our products, from the technical and editorial design phase to production and distribution".
Sustainability is about a longer lifespan and less plastic
And as Ivan Colecchia, SVP Global Development of Kidz Global, adds: "Sustainability in the toy industry is mainly about a longer lifespan, before materials, and in particular wood, and a less use of plastic. This also fits with the second-hand market, which appears to be very relevant in France as in the other countries covered by the research and could be explored as an opportunity for brands to strengthen the relationship with their consumers".
Sustainability in the licensing industry
But what does sustainability mean for the licensing industry? The licensing industry has developed a comprehensive set of standards which go beyond the core products and extend to licensed products. On occasions, licensees are expected to submit a sustainability plan to brand owners to show that they share the same standards and commitments. But if a licensed product should fail on the sustainability front, the impact could cause serious damage to the licensor's reputation. To attain long-term success, a brand has to set and achieve ambitious targets and ensure that the licensees do likewise.