Spotlight on Toy Fair New York’s Sustainability Mission

July 9, 2019 | Did you know that Toy Fair New York uses recyclable carpeting for all show aisles, collects used wooden pallets for reuse, and has lowered its electricity consumption by more than 30 percent since 2015? These are just a few of the show’s eco-friendly practices that have led to its status as the “gold standard” in sustainability, according to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, host to Toy Fair and nearly 200 other trade shows, conventions, and other special events each year.

“Toy Fair’s commitment to sustainability is an initiative we care deeply about,” said John Klein, director of event operations at The Toy Association, who is responsible for overseeing the show’s environmentally-friendly practices and procedures. “With a show as large as ours we are continuously looking for ways to enhance our best-practice measures. Working with our general contractor, T3 Expo, and the Javits Center, this year we identified a variety of initiatives that will amplify our efforts even further.”

To advance Toy Fair’s sustainability, The Toy Association is currently focusing on three main efforts: energy conservation, diverting landfill waste – whether by recycling or reusing materials, and facilitating donations of booth materials and products to charitable organizations throughout the New York area.

Highlights of sustainability at the 2019 show included:

  • Creating Toy Fair signs and branding from reusable and recyclable materials.
  • Partnering with an organization called Material for the Arts to collect leftover booth materials and furniture to donate to New York City public schools.
  • Using recyclable carpet for all show aisles, which lowers what is sent to landfills.
  • Collecting more than 400 used wooden pallets for reuse rather than sending them to landfills.
  • Toy Fair’s electricity usage was lowered by nearly 10 percent compared to 2018, and more than 30 percent compared to 2015, thanks to the Javits Center’s conversion to LED lighting.
  • A greater commitment to compost collection in the kitchen and retail spaces – at Toy Fair, the Javits Center’s food and beverage partner collected a total of more than 5,000 pounds of compost throughout the show.
  • Donations of nearly 60,000 toys from the show floor to The Toy Foundation’s Toy Bank.

Efforts are already under way to expand Toy Fair’s green initiatives for 2020, such as using recyclable carpet throughout the entire show floor and incorporating digital signage as opposed to fabric signs and wall build outs, which could save an additional materials used.

Michael Ruberry, vice president of set-up and event solutions at the Javits Center, commended Toy Fair for its sustainability efforts: “As one of our largest annual events, Toy Fair has demonstrated a solid commitment to New York’s economy and its environment, and in the years to come, we look forward to [working with show management to] explore new ways to reduce our impact on the community and improve the quality of life for New Yorkers.”

For more information on Toy Fair’s sustainability initiatives email The Toy Association’s John Klein.

Toy Fair New York returns to New York City February 22 to 25, 2020. To register for the marketplace or to learn more, visit