Lego Takes Action to Tackle Deforestation
by Daniel Brindis
July 8, 2011
When Ken dumped Barbie last month, Mattel was not the only toy industry giant put under the spotlight for their role in rainforest destruction. Our investigation showed that Hasbro, Lego and Disney are also wrapping toys in paper products coming from Indonesian rainforests.
The first of these toy companies to announce more substantive action is Lego, who have released a new statement on the issue yesterday:
We have asked all of these toy companies to take three simple steps:
1. Stop buying paper products from Asia Pulp and Paper – the worst forest offender in Indonesia – and any companies connected to APP.
2. Don’t buy from Asia Pulp and Paper until the company makes real changes on the ground that protect Indonesian rainforests, biodiversity and respect the rights of people living in these forests.
3. Become leaders in their industry in the use of sustainable forest products for all their toys and packaging, by immediately implementing new procurement policies aimed to cover the purchase of all pulp
and paper products.
Lego has announced that they intend to not buy packaging from companies involved in deforestation. This means dropping Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) along with any paper companies linked to forest destruction. In addition to this commitment, Lego outlined a three-step plan to reduce the impact of its packaging on
1. Reduce total packaging
2. Maximize the use of recycled content
3. Ensure any remaining virgin fiber comes from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sources
The other companies named so far in our campaign, including Hasbro, which makes Transformers, and Disney have so far failed to commit to clear action to remove rainforest destruction from their packaging. They have faced criticism for their weak response to revelations linking them to the destroyed rainforest home of species such as the Sumatran tiger. Here is where they stand currently:
Barbie’s maker Mattel has admitted it has a deforestation habit, but it isn’t out of the woods yet. Mattel’s latest statement on how it will deal its links to rainforest destruction needs more information and timelines, both for implementing a policy and for ending their purchases from forest destroyers like APP. We are continuing to call on Mattel to step up and show real leadership on this issue.
Hasbro has said that they are instructing their suppliers to immediately stop using APP, which is a good first step. But if they were really serious about completely removing rainforest destruction from their products, they would implement a comprehensive policy to fix the problem. Instead they’re falling back on procurement announcements made in 2010, which has been shown not to work. If it did work, rainforest wood wouldn’t be in packaging for their toys. Until we more comprehensive solutions to their deforestation problem, toys like Transformers and the rest of Hasbro’s products still risk being wrapped in rainforest destruction.
Perhaps surprisingly, Disney has not made any public commitments to address their deforestation problem. Hmmm…not all is well in Wonderland. Which leads us to wonder: will Mickey and Minnie sort this out?