Global toy supplier Sambro International has outlined its ambitious sustainable development targets for 2023, which will see the company reduce carbon emissions across its UK and EMEA offices by 5% over the next 12 months.
The international toy and licensing business has set a list of 16 sustainable development targets, under its current ESG strategy, with each target aiming to progress more sustainable operations across the business.
These include the development and launch of a plush range made of 100% recycled materials, setting targets for climate change metrics in order to strengthen climate change governance, and exploring a more efficient pooling/pallet systems to reduce the number of single use pallets used.
In 2022, Sambro was among the first toy companies of its size to calculate its carbon footprint and using 2019 as a base, it has seen an overall reduction in emissions of 3.4%, including a 22% reduction in Scope 2 emissions.
This is as a result of new sustainable innovations, including making the switch to renewable energy, with its UK headquarters now completely powered by electricity from renewable sources.
These innovations will continue into 2023, as the company looks to reduce its emissions across the business by a further 5% this year and starts to calculate several parts of its Scope 3 emissions, starting with an environmental assessment of ten of its largest international factories.
Sustainable packaging will also continue to be a priority, with Sambro ensuring all new lines are developed with more sustainable packaging options in mind. This will also cascade down to the supply chain, ensuring all packing used to ship goods from the company’s warehouse will either be made up of recycled or recyclable materials by the end of the year.
Packaging improvements include FSC card, reusable bags, plastic free packaging, 100% biodegradable, or entirely reduced packaging. Sambro will also remove the plastic from plush swing tags, which will save at least 805 kg of plastic, the equivalent of 33,352 plastic bottles from being thrown away each year.
To drive circularity, Sambro will set up an internal system for regular charity donations to local beneficiaries to reduce waste on backstock and offer support to its local community.
Last year, the company partnered with Wastebuster and Products of Change to become the latest toy business to join the Recycle to Read initiative which works with organisations and schools across the UK to facilitate the recycling and re-use of toys. Participating schools are then rewarded with books and reading resources to support children’s literacy.
“Last year saw a real shift change in the management of our sustainability commitments, completing 15 of our 17 goals set out to help achieve our wider business objectives,” commented Lisa Longley, ethical and sustainability manager at Sambro (pictured above). “ESG has now been brought to the forefront of our business and we are seeing a genuine change in how we operate, not just internally but externally, with customers and licensors also playing a key role in achieving these goals.
“We’re continuing this drive in 2023 and we are excited to see how we can take this even further, working together to drive a business which has sustainability and circularity at its heart.”
Alongside its environmental commitments, Sambro has also set out wider ESG development targets. Having reported a median pay gap of -5.77% in 2022 (meaning their women are paid more), ahead of the UK average of 7.9%, Sambro is looking to strengthen this further with a focus on equal opportunity recruiting and investment in leadership development programmes.
It has also conducted a well-being audit among employees, which will now see the introduction of new health and well-being initiatives, including menopause awareness training and the appointment of menopause champions.