Hasbro Pledges to Remove PVC From Its Products

Hasbro was one of the companies to drop Asia Pulp and Paper as their supplier recently. Now with the launch of their first CSR report, they have pledged to remove PVC from all new core toy and game packaging by 2013. PVC causes a lot of health and environmental problems because it contains phthalates as well as dioxins which are both toxic. Banning PVC therefore, is a huge target that the toy company has set for itself.

Hasbro brings more than 2000 products to the market each year and they used approximately 31 million pounds of PVC in their packaging in 2010. The company has started to collaborate more closely with their suppliers to identify a cost-effective replacement for PVC and they have identified PET and RPET as viable alternatives.

Hasbro started focusing on packaging way back in 2006. Their first move was to eliminate the double-wall cartons used to ship their products to retail outlets. This change has resulted in a total of 4 million pounds of avoided waste. They also replaced wire ties from their products with more sustainable materials such as paper rattan and bamboo mix.

In addition to this focus on end-of-life, Hasbro recently unveiled a new paper procurement policy that supports sustainable forest management. This policy sets stringent requirements from their vendors and the company specifically states that no mixed tropical hardwood virgin fiber should be used in any of their products, including packaging.

Since 2007, they have been committed to eliminating lead from all their toys. Thousands of toys were recalled that year including those from Mattel, due to fears of lead paint but Hasbro was unaffected. The company has also been a pioneer in setting  labor standards for factories in its supply chain and has taken a lead role in this since the 1990s. They have regular inspections of their facilities to ensure that environmental, health and safety standards are met.

Finally, the company discloses its carbon emissions through the Carbon Disclosure Project. They have managed to cut their emissions down by working on their logistics as well as regional distribution models. Currently, they aim to reduce global Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by 2012 from the base year 2008.

With all that they toy company has got going for them, it is surprising that it has taken them so long to produce a CSR report. However, it can argued that because they have been strong front-runners in sustainability, their report ultimately has more credibility.

Akhila is the Founding Director of GreenDen Consultancy which is dedicated to offering business analysis, reporting and marketing solutions powered by sustainability and social responsibility. Based in the US, Europe, and India, the GreenDen's consultants share the best practices and innovation from around the globe to achieve real results. She has previously written about CSR and ethical consumption for Justmeans and hopes to put a fresh spin on things for this column. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change 'business as usual' through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she is a voracious reader and enjoys photography, yoga, travelling and the great outdoors. She can be contacted via Twitter @aksvi and also http://www.thegreenden.net