Baby Steps Are Not Enough Against Climate Change

Sonia Sánchez is an Impact & Sustainability Consultant, specializing in the toy industry. She contacted me about her White Paper, and with all the concerns around petroleum-based plastics, I found it to be important and interesting. I thought you would as well. Her white paper is downloadable at


The recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report is crystal clear: human influence is behind global warming, and we are embroiled in a climate crisis that will only worsen through the coming decades. Now it’s the right time to invest in survival kits for heatwaves, heavy downpours, major hurricanes, extreme drought, wildfires, food scarcity, and humanitarian crises.

For children to dream of having a future, society needs to radically transform the way it operates to reach net-zero emissions as soon as possible. As part of the society,  toy companies can no longer ignore their contribution to climate change. 

Behind global warming are GHGs. Energy, transport and plastic are major GHG issuers, and the toy industry is highly prolific in the three of them. “Valuing plastic”, a UN report, identified in 2014 the toy industry as the most plastic intense sector.  

To honour children and parents’ trust, toy companies need to acknowledge their role in climate change and commit to Science-Based Targets that keep global warming at manageable levels. To my knowledge, so far, only LEGO is embracing Science-Based Targets, but, challenging as it sounds, according to the IPCC’s report, anything smaller than this falls short. 

According to the whitepaper “Changing the World TOY BY TOY”, at least 20% of toy companies reflect on children’s concerns and have climate change amongst their sustainability priorities, working hard to reduce GHGs. They are doing great, but they need to go faster, or it will be too late. Baby steps are not enough against climate change.

Additionally, these leading companies need to get partners, suppliers, and competitors on board. Toy brands face challenges that surpass their individual possibilities. Some of them, listed amongst others in the whitepaper “Changing the World TOY BY TOY” are: the scarcity of suitable sustainable materials, the low recycling rates, a business model that promotes overproduction, tight margins that limit resources to invest in improving sustainability and the difficulty to prevent labour rights abuses. All these challenges would benefit from toy companies joining forces. Think of it as a cooperative game; we all win, or we all lose. Sustainability shouldn’t be a field where brands compete but one where they collaborate. 

Changing the World TOY BY TOY is the free whitepaper for decision-makers in the toy industry who want to explore what sustainability means for their organisations. Downloadable at

Sonia Sánchez, Impact & Sustainability Consultant, specializing in the toy industry

One thought

  1. Thanks for sharing!! This rings true. Our company makes eco-educational board games. So in addition to teaching kids how to protect the planet, we are committed to making our products sustainably. It is so tough just to find affordable green options – it would be a lot easier if more companies (& retailers) were demanding sustainable materials and technologies too.

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