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After Greenpeace barrage, Mattel takes up sustainable procurement

After Greenpeace barrage, Mattel takes up sustainable procurement

Posting in Sustainability

Toy maker vows to address forestry management practices related to suppliers of paper and wood products for its packaging, toy lines.

Anyone who covers corporate sustainability issues will have noticed that Mattel, parent of the perennial Barbie brand, has been the latest unlucky target of Greenpeace, which has been pounding on the toy maker for what it views as procurement policies that encourage deforestation. What you might not have noticed is that late last week, the company issued a statement proclaiming that it will develop a sustainable procurement policy specifically focused on addressing that issue.

There aren't any details yet, but the company said it will add protocols and specifications for sustainable forestry management practices into its overall procurement policies. The idea is to monitor more closely the materials that go into its packaging and and products, and it will cover policies for toy lines, paper, books an accessories.

The statement quotes Mattel Vice President of Corporate Affairs Lisa Marie Bongiovanni:

"Mattel has a long track record of playing responsibly across all areas of our business, which includes how we impact the world around us. While we don't have all the answers yet, we are working to make continual improvements across our business, and that includes packaging. In fact, earlier this year, Mattel completed a lifecycle assessment of packaging across multiple product lines to identify impacts and opportunities for future opportunities."

What it does with that data, of course, is another matter entirely.

The Greenpeace-created video below proves that the environmental organization doesn't just have to climb buildings to make an impact (although it is still doing that, too). Caution, if you have a young child in the room with you, it might not do to let him or her watch this snarky video:

History tells me that that it isn't likely that Greenpeace will lay off Mattel until it announces something specific and concrete, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Related posts on SmartPlanet:
For Mattel, sustainability starts with child's play

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure