Sustainability Spotlight: Schleich

kids in boardroomFebruary 7, 2023 | As The Toy Association continues to track sustainability trends across the industry, it is highlighting members’ environmental commitments and green initiatives. This week’s Sustainability Spotlight is on Schleich.

In four years, all of Schleich’s figures will be recyclable or biodegradable. And that’s just the beginning of the toymaker’s long-term goal to transform every department within the company to be more sustainable, from product production to distribution.

Part of that transformation includes a commitment for all of the company’s toys and packaging to be Cradle to Cradle certified by the end of 2027. This standard follows a circular economy principle aimed at using the planet’s resources for as long as possible and then to reuse them again and again. This includes the material, the colors with which the toys are painted, and any adhesives used.

For example, a family might pass down a Horse Club playset for a couple of generations before recycling it, leading Schleich to reuse that same playset to create a new product. The Cradle to Cradle idea also includes the improvement of the social and environmental impact on production and the supply chain.

“Sustainability is a journey, and we’ll be taking some important steps along the way in the coming years,” said Dr. Philipp Hummel, head of sustainability at Schleich. “Our products are so long-lasting and of such high quality that it’s very rare that they’re ever thrown away. But should that ever happen, rigorously applying the Cradle to Cradle design principles means that a Schleich dinosaur can ideally be made into another Schleich dinosaur — or a lion, horse, or unicorn — instead of a product with less material quality. In addition to materials and production conditions, we’re also focused on issues of social fairness in terms of our sites and partners.”

So far, Schleich’s team of engineers, chemists, and sustainability experts have been hard at work developing new material for which to create its toys. Last year, the company began decorating its products with water-based paint and is also in the process of developing a paint that will be Cradle to Cradle certified.

The company is also reducing packaging materials wherever possible — plastic in Schleich’s packaging has decreased 20% since 2020 — and increasing the use of paper-based packaging. In addition, all of Schleich’s paper and cardboard will be FSC-certified starting this year, and all of its packaging will be 100% recyclable by 2025.

To reduce its carbon footprint even further, Schleich will also spend the next few years regionalizing its production by increasingly manufacturing its products where they are actually sold, so that transport distances are shortened.

To learn more about Scheich and its eco-friendly initiatives, visit the company’s website.

To have your company's sustainability efforts and environmentally focused products featured by The Toy Association, contact Maddie Michalik.