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Mattel responds to sustainability concerns

Youve got to love a corporate kneejerk reaction. After it was reported that worldwide leading toymaker Mattel is believed to be contributing to Indones...

Freddie Pierce
|Jun 14|magazine6 min read

You’ve got to love a corporate kneejerk reaction.

After it was reported that worldwide leading toymaker Mattel is believed to be contributing to Indonesia deforestation, the company announced on Tuesday a sustainable sourcing commitment that will directly address the issue.

Last Tuesday, Greenpeace members scaled the side of Mattel’s Los Angeles headquarters to hang an enormous banner, including a caption and a frowning Ken doll. Greenpeace has officially launched a campaign against Mattel, the toy company most famously known for producing Barbie, because Greenpeace says this company’s packaging materials contribute to deforestation in Indonesia.

Now, Mattel will source its wood products following requirement for packaging suppliers to commit to sustainable forestry management practices.

Mattel sources its fiber materials for disposable packaging from the company Asia Pulp and Paper. Greenpeace has been after this company for years because its pulpwood suppliers are destroying ecologically important forests in Sumatra, including areas designated as tiger habitat.

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Despite the allegations on irresponsible supply chain management, Mattel alleges that the company has a history of always sourcing its wood and paper responsibly.

“Mattel has a long track record of playing responsibly across all areas of our business, which includes how we impact the world around us,” Lisa Maria Bongiovanni, vice president of corporate affairs at Mattel, said.

Despite that bold statement, Bongiovanni stopped short of providing exact details.

“While we don’t have all the answers yet, we are working to make continual improvement across our business, and that includes packaging,” Bongiovanni said.