What to Know about ICTI Ethical Toy Program’s New Environmental Assessment Tool

May 17, 2022 | ICTI Ethical Toy Program (IETP) announced the launch of a new Environmental Assessment Module to enable climate action for the global toy supply chain. Toy News Tuesday (TNT) editors spoke with IETP’s Head of Business Development, Todd Merton, about the new program and how members of the global play community can take advantage of the tool.

TNT: Can you describe the purpose of the new Environmental Assessment (EA) Module?

TM: The tool was developed in response to a demand we saw throughout the industry for a quick and cost-effective solution for companies looking to gain oversight on the positive and negative environmental impacts of their business operations and those of their suppliers.

As more companies explore new ways to lessen their environmental impact, this new tool will help them not only hit their own goals but also meet the requirements of regulators and their own customers.

TNT: Do toy companies need to be part of the IETP program to use the Assessment Module?

TM: The module is separate from IETP’s certification and membership programs, and membership is not required. However, it may be easily combined with our other programs, such as the Factory Certification Program or Social Impact Assessment to gain both environmental and social oversight.

IETP members are also afforded additional insights when using the tool, such as the ability to view their detailed report and summary report within our responsible sourcing platform Connect, which also provides the tools to source ethical suppliers, run reports, and analyze ESG data all in one place.

TNT: Can suppliers outside the toy industry use the tool?

TM: The Environmental Assessment is not industry specific. It covers a broad range of environmental topics which are applicable to both manufacturers as well as suppliers of any size, industry, and location. For suppliers outside the toy industry, it can also help them to collect and present their environmental data to potential buyers.

TNT: What is the difference between IETP’s Environmental Assessment and other programs?

TM: IETP has a track record of successfully delivering programs which are trusted and respected, engaging suppliers and remediating key issues. Here are a few of the key points of differentiation between our EA and other programs:

  1. Engagement – After completing any environmental assessment, buyers need to engage their suppliers with other programs. With the EA, if a buyer confirms to deploy the program to their supply chain, IETP is set up to assist the onboarding process (invite & follow-up until the assessment is completed). This results in a simplified data collection process to free up procurement/sustainability professionals' time for other important matters.

  2. CostScope 3 emissions are often difficult to measure because they require a vast amount of data across the entire supply chain, but our EA is able to help companies tackle this challenge cost-effectively. Our EA is comparably low-cost.

  3. Remote – Our EA is an online assessment, so suppliers can complete it in their own time zone and at their convenience.

  4. Choices – Companies are offered choices to gather environmental and social data on the same analytic platform, helping to streamline data collection so they don't have to use multiple platforms if they wish.

TNT: How can companies deploy the EA to their global supply chain?

TM: Understanding that communication is key within supply chains, IETP can assist in onboarding and engaging a business’ suppliers to share consistent environmental metrics through our online platform.

TNT: What about other ESG matters?

TM: In addition to this Environmental Assessment, IETP offers programs that streamline ESG efforts that fit your business strategy. For example, Factory Certification, Worker Helpline (Grievance Mechanism), Social Impact Assessment, Gender Equality, and Family-Friendly Factories Program. You can mix and match these impact investing programs to suit your business priorities.

To learn more about IETP’s new Environmental Assessment module and other IETP programming, toy professionals are encouraged to contact Todd Merton, head of business development at IETP.

The ICTI Ethical Toy Program (formerly ICTI CARE Process) is the ethical supply chain program for the global toy and entertainment industry. The Toy Association directly funded IETP at its founding and continues to support IETP’s work while offering its range of services to small- and mid-size Toy Association member companies.