UN and UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals
Many serious toy industry manufacturers, from start-ups to top-tier companies, have embraced one or more of these goals, in their mission statements, product development plans, and manufacturing facilities.
Efforts of all-size toy manufacturers to adopt the Global Goals
Family-focused companies’ initial commitments are focused upon shifting their packaging policies, and product development to better protect our planet and to conserve natural resources for future generations. Here are some of the environmentally friendly steps already in action, and next steps for building a sustainable future path:
Hasbro’s stated goals are to eliminate virtually all plastic in packaging for new products by the end of 2022. In late Summer 2019, Hasbro revealed their plan and started creating cross-functional teams whose purpose is to eliminate polybags, shrink wrap, window sheets, blister packs, and elastic bands. This plastic packaging reduction initiative is Hasbro’s latest move in the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability. As a family-focused company, they are shifting their packaging policies to better protect our planet and to conserve its natural resources for future generations. Hasbro has expanded their Toy Recycling Program with TerraCycle from initial roll-out implementation in the USA, to include areas of Europe. Since 2018, Hasbro has already eliminated wire ties, placed How2Recycle labeling on its packages, and began using plant-based bioPET in select products. Hasbro’s current sustainability goals include 25 per cent reduction in energy consumption, halving the waste to landfill and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions by one fifth as well as reducing water consumption by 15 per cent by 2025.
The LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre was created in 2012, and thus began an exhaustive search for sustainable materials to replace the long-used, petroleum-based materials that the company had been using in its bricks and other toys for decades. Within just two years, the LEGO Group began running on 100% renewable energy — three years ahead of schedule — and is making progress toward its goal of using completely sustainable materials in its packaging by 2025 — and its products by 2030. LEGO has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund and its Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance in an effort to develop sourcing and demand for bioplastics. The LEGO Ideas Treehouse includes 185 botanical elements made from plant-based polyethylene plastic using sustainably sourced sugar cane, including green and autumn leaf elements, a step in the right direction.
Mattel Inc. (USA)
Mattel Inc. recently took a bigger step toward a sustainable future. In an expansion of its Environmental Sustainable Sourcing Principles that were announced in 2011, Mattel plans to use 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastics materials in both its products and packaging by 2030. As of 2019, Mattel sources 93% of the paper and wood fiber used in its packaging and products from recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) content. Additionally, the company adopted the How2Recycle label, the standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public. Select products have transitioned to bio plastic, across the Fisher Price and Mega Brands ranges.
ZURU (New Zealand/ Hong Kong)
ZURU announced plans to remove nearly 800 tons of single-use plastic from its Bunch-O-Balloons line. Another step in their commitment, is designed to eliminate plastic polybag waste across multiple brands including Rainbocorns, 5 Surprise, Smashers and the new Itty Bitty Prettys brands, where product quality can be maintained. This transition is a commitment that will eliminate an estimated 13 million plastic polybags and replace them with sustainably sourced paper surprise bags across these select lines.
Adventerra Games (Switzerland)
A recent National Public Radio (NPR) poll revealed that 80 percent of parents wish their kids were actively learning about climate change. The Adventerra Games’ collection of puzzles and eco-games collection of inspire behavior-changing habits that individuals can learn and use in their everyday life, making sustainability a personal mission. The Adventerra team has learned that when kids get excited about environmental issues, they often push their whole family to change their behavior.
Le Toy Van (UK)
With a 25-year partnership for manufacturing in Indonesia, Le Toy Van ensure ethical production while providing local communities with places of work. Their rubberwood is sourced from sustainably managed forests protected by the SUCOFINDO certification. These trees contribute to the local economies through rubber production, then at the end of their rubber-giving life instead of being burnt are made into Le Toy Van toys. They recently switched to 100% renewable energy at their Headquarters office, where they also support diversity by hiring a consciously selected gender-balanced team.