Sustainable Materials

Sustainability

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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, GHG emissions, recycled content, sustainable and safe materials, ease of disassembly, and social compliance. Our aspiration is for all of our products to meet target thresholds in each of these areas. In 2016, we set a goal for 10% of our products to meet the sustainability criteria, and all departments will work together to pursue positive changes towards this goal.

 

Safe Materials

The well-being of the children who enjoy our products and the workers who create them is of fundamental importance to Radio Flyer. We take a strong precautionary approach to material and product safety and place these at the heart of our product development and supplier assessment programs.

Radio Flyer’s Restricted Substances List (RSL)

We use a Restricted Substances List (RSL) to communicate our priorities and standards related to safer chemicals both internally and to our suppliers. We update this list annually by monitoring chemical requirements across the globe and adopting the most stringent published standards. As a further layer of assurance that there are no harmful chemicals in our products, we conduct RSL testing and supplier auditing, with risk assessments informing the frequency and type of tests. In 2017, we upgraded our Chemical Management Policy to clarify our approach to assessing alternative substances to ensure that replacement chemicals improve material safety.  

 

Eric Selner, Senior Operations and Sustainability Manager:

“As a company that creates playthings for children, safe chemistry is critical for Radio Flyer.  To assure our consumers that their children are playing with safe, responsibly made toys, we need superior visibility into the chemical makeup of our products. Beginning in 2016, we engaged our suppliers through an intensive chemical footprinting effort with the goal of achieving transparency for all intentionally added chemicals in our products.  This initiative built strong accountability and a basis for improved chemicals management across our supply chain. To benchmark our program against industry best practices, Radio Flyer reports annually to the Chemical Footprint Project, a leading chemicals management self-assessment tool. This helps us pinpoint needed improvements and strengthen our commitment to safer materials.”

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).