Greenpeace Protests Spur New Policies at Mattel

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Last week, Greenpeace activities hung banners on Mattel’s headquarter buildings worldwide to protest the toy maker’s use of packaging paper from rainforests. Mattel has pledged to develop a sustainable procurement policy requiring packaging suppliers to commit to sustainable forestry practices. Photo: Greenpeace

Mattel announced it will develop a sustainable procurement policy that addresses deforestation, after recent protests by Greenpeace charging the toy maker with sourcing its packaging from threatened rainforests.

Early last week, Greenpeace activists scaled Mattel’s headquarter buildings around the world and hung banners that featured a frowning Ken doll and read, “Barbie, it’s over. I don’t date girls that are into deforestation.”

The environmental advocacy group staged the protests to highlight the release of its report, “Toying with Extinction,” that cites forensic testing indicating Mattel’s packaging paper contains fiber from Indonesian rainforests. The report also includes documents that follow the packaging’s supply chain from Mattel to Asia Pulp and Paper, a company with a reputation for clear-cutting rainforests.

Mattel responded to the Greenpeace campaign by the end of last week, pledging to establish a procurement policy that will require packaging suppliers to commit to sustainable forestry management practices. The policy will cover not only product packaging, the company says, but will also apply to other wood-based products in its toy lines, such as paper, books and accessories.

“While we don’t have all the answers yet, we are working to make continual improvements across our business, and that includes packaging,” said Lisa Marie Bongiovanni, vice president of corporate affairs at Mattel, in a statement. “In fact, earlier this year, Mattel completed a lifecycle assessment of packaging across multiple product lines to identify impacts and opportunities for future improvements.”

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