Sustainable Materials

Sustainability

Home | Durable Products |  Environmental Performance |  Sustainable Materials Community

 

 

SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

Safety, durability, quality and aesthetics --- we won’t give an inch on any of these, so finding cutting-edge, sustainable materials that meet our cost needs can be challenging. Our goal is to create outstanding, safe kids products and warm memories that last a lifetime. 

Designing Sustainable Products

Product Scorecard

One of our most exciting recent achievements was creating a tool to help our product development team improve product sustainability. Using the data from Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies of some of our large-volume products, we are now able to track the Greenhouse Gas emissions, energy use, safe chemistry, renewable materials and recycled content for all of our products. We have developed a product sustainability goal to drive improvement in those areas as well as social compliance.    
 

Mark Johnson, Director of Product DevelopmentMark Johnson, Director of Product Development:

“I’ve been designing and developing products for 18 years and I’m still learning. The Product Development Scorecard opened my eyes to different ways to make our products more sustainable. I’ve always been laser-focused on designing products that are great quality, durable and affordable and now I have a tool to help me make our products more sustainable, as well.”  
 

Product Sustainability Goal

From our scorecard work, we are developing a set of sustainability criteria covering safe chemistry, GHG emissions, recycled content, ease of disassembly, and social compliance. Our aspiration is for all of our products to meet target thresholds in each of these areas. In 2015, we will set a goal for future compliance to this criteria, and all departments will work together to pursue positive changes towards this goal.

 

Walmart has awarded our products its Sustainability Leaders badge, given to companies that scored best-in-class in Walmart’s Sustainability Index. 

Safe Materials

The well-being of the children who enjoy our products is of paramount importance to Radio Flyer. We strive to ensure that our products and the materials we use to create them are safe.
 

Radio Flyer’s Restricted Substances List (RSL)

We use a Restricted Substances List (RSL) to communicate our priorities and standards to our suppliers. We continually update this list by monitoring chemical requirements across the globe and adopting the lowest published standards. As a further layer of assurance that there are no harmful chemicals in our products, we conduct chemical auditing. Our two largest suppliers in China have also invested in chemical auditing equipment to help them verify that they meet Radio Flyer’s standards. 

 

Eric Selner, Senior Operations and Sustainability Manager:

“Safe chemistry is critical for us as a company that creates products for children. One of the biggest barriers to better chemical practices in our industry is cost. I have been very encouraged by Walmart’s interest in safer chemicals. As they move to prohibit harmful chemicals, they will help to elevate the performance of the whole industry while also driving expenses down.”

Phthalates and Heavy Metals

We do not add regulated phthalates or heavy metals such as lead, mercury or chromium to our products. 

 

PVC

Our aspiration is to eliminate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from all of our products. In 2014 our products were 98.5% PVC free. We try to avoid using PVC but have not yet succeeded in removing this component from some of our products.  In 2011, we removed PVC from our folding tricycles and replaced it with ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA foam). This removed over 100,000 pounds of PVC from our products. Any PVC we use is free of organophosphates, and meets all regulations put forth by the CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commission).