Melissa & Doug launches major new sustainability drive under Project Restore

The international toy company, Melissa & Doug has detailed a major new sustainability initiative focused on environmental and social measures under the campaign title, Project Restore.

The initiative will guide the company in its existing work on environmental responsibility, social equity, and inclusion, as well as its ambitious new plan ‘to make the world a better place.’ Project Restore will essential formalise the company’s commitment to ‘make timeless, sustainable toys’ for an inclusive world.

The campaign will work to deeply integrate sustainability culture and practices across the organisation, with three major pillars that the company will continuously build initiatives against.

At the forefront is Thriving Forests, a staple of the movement in recognition of the importance of wood as a main companent of the Melissa & Doug product line. To contribute to thriving forests globally, Melissa & Doug is partnering with One Tree Planted, a global restoration programme that will plant a tree for every tree used by the company each year.

As well as this, it will ensure that 100 per cent of its paper products and more than half of its wood products will come from sustainable, responsibly managed forests and be FSC certified by 2025. The company has also made a commitment to become carbon neutral in its operations by the end of 2021.

The next pillar in the initiative is Timeless Toys, an underscoring of Melissa & Doug’s focus on producing toys that will be passed down from generation to generation or shared from family to family. By keeping toys in the hands of children and out of landfills, the company is aiming to reduce waste.

The firm is also committed to continuous packaging improvements, including source reduction, recyclable materials, use of recycled materials, and partnering with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition to add How2Recycle information to its labelling in 2022.

Finally, under its Inclusive World pillar, Melissa & Doug will continue its alliance with the American Academy of Pediatrics to encourage open-ended play and strong parent-child relationships for all children, and inclusivity by race, gender, and abilities as a focus.

The company will also aim to drive greater representation of all children across its marketing content and within its innovation programme.

“We understand that children are growing up aware of issues around them like climate change and inclusivity,” said Fernando Mercé, chief executive officer of Melissa & Doug.

“Children and parents are searching for positivity and hope in the face of environmental and social uncertainty. Expanding our brand purpose beyond nurturing children’s imaginations to nurturing the environment is a natural step.

“By ensuring our products and packaging help forests thrive and contribute to an inclusive world, we lay a better foundation for restoring play and children’s futures for generations to come.”

Melissa & Doug is launching Project Restore to further build on over three decades of caring for the environment. Melissa & Doug is recognised by many as a leader in the industry in responsible supply chain management, using mainly sustainable materials, such as wood and paper, across most of its toys.

Last year, the company was the first major toy brand in the US to earn Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for its new stationery line, which was independently certified by SCS Global Services. Through its alliance with the American Academy of Pediatrics, it has committed to fostering early brain development in all children, regardless of gender, race, or ability.

“We’re extremely excited about this sustainability journey,” continued Mercé. “It is something that has been part of our DNA as a company for years, and now Project Restore will help us take that commitment to the next level.

“We know consumers look to Melissa & Doug as a leader when it comes to wooden, sustainable toys and developmental learning and we take that position seriously. We look forward to sharing more details on what we think will be game-changing actions for our company, our retailers, the industry, and our greater Melissa & Doug community of families and children.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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