Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lego and Mattel Bow to Greenpeace Pressure and Eliminate Unsustainable Packaging

Lego has bowed to Greenpeace pressure and has discontinued its sourcing of packaging made from unsustainable forests. Lego has agreed to drop supplier Asia Pulp and Paper, and vows to use packaging material certified by the Forest Stewardship Council from now on.

Greenpeace considers APP the worst forest offender in Indonesia. The non-profit has requested that all toy companies stop buying paper products from APP and its associates. Greenpeace also called on the companies to implement new sustainable procurement policies for purchase of all pulp and paper products.

Lego has now announced that it is aiming to reduce the amount of packaging material it uses; where possible use only recycled materials; and where a recycled option is not possible, use only FSC-certified fibers.

In addition to welcoming Lego's decision, Greenpeace blamed other major toy companies for their inadequate response to the APP allegations. While they publicly lauded Lego's decision they continued to pressure other toy makers.

Clever pressure campaigns appear to be working. In June Greenpeace scaled Mattel’s headquarters and unfurled a banner featuring a picture of toy Ken that read, “Barbie, it’s over. I don’t date girls that are into deforestation.” The next day, Mattel released a statement confirming that it had put a hold on purchasing supplies that originate from APP, and pledging to create a sustainable procurement policy.

Greepeace has a long history of pressuring reluctant companies to engage more sustainable approaches to commerce. For corporations that refuse to see the wisdom and accept the responsibility, Greenpeace offers another approach to move business towards sustainability.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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