Progress on stopping rainforest destruction: Lego pledges leadership

Feature story - July 8, 2011
Lego has become the first major toy company to announce plans to remove deforestation from its supply chain.

Barbie Guerrilla Billboard in London

© John Cobb / Greenpeace

This move is a result of the Greenpeace campaign to persuade the toy industry to stop using rainforest destruction in its packaging. Greenpeace launched the campaign last month with an action at the California headquarters of toy company Mattel.

In a public statement, Lego outlined a three-step plan to reduce the impact of its packaging on forests: 

  1. reduce total packaging;
  2. maximize the use of recycled material; and
  3. ensure that all fibre, including any virgin fibre used, comes from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified sources.

Lego has also confirmed that it will not buy from suppliers involved in deforestation which will exclude the notorious Asia Pulp and Paper from supplying the company. APP has been exposed many times for wrecking Indonesia’s rainforests to make products such as packaging.

So far, other toy companies – Mattel, maker of Barbie, Hasbro, maker of the Transformers, and Disney – have failed to commit to clear action to remove rainforest destruction from their packaging. They have been criticized for their weak response to revelations linking them to the destroyed rainforest home of species such as the endangered Sumatran tiger.

Greenpeace has congratulated Lego. This action by one of pros the world’s biggest toy companies proves that rainforest friendly packaging is available. Greenpeace calls on Mattel, Hasbro, Disney and other toy companies to act now and stop using packaging from the Indonesian rainforest.

Greenpeace investigators used forensic testing to reveal that packaging for toys such as Barbie and the Transformers comes from the Indonesian rainforests. Greenpeace research confirmed that Mattel, Hasbro and Disney regularly use packaging produced by APP.

The Greenpeace action at Mattel headquarters that included dropping a giant banner reading: “Barbie: It’s Over. I Don’t Date Girls That Are Into Deforestation.”

Since then, more than 250,000 people have contacted Mattel, asking the company to switch to rainforest friendly packaging. A YouTube video showing a spoof interview with Ken has been watched more than one million times.

Indonesia has one of the fastest rates of forest destruction in the world. The Indonesian government estimates that more than one million hectares of rainforests are being cleared every year.

More on the role of APP, Hasbro, Disney and others in rainforest destruction:

Lego’s statement: