Schleich is also seeking Cradle to Cradle certification by 2027 and is working on finding recycled or bio-based materials for its figurines.
Schleich has set itself the goal of producing its toys in a more sustainable way and says that by the end of 2027, all of its figurines will be recyclable or biodegradable.
In addition to this, and to ensure that resources are reused over and over again, Schleich is optimising and certifying its products and packaging in accordance with the Cradle to Cradle circular economy principles by end of 2027. This means, among other factors, that Schleich figurines are recycled without loss of material quality. To achieve this, Schleich is collaborating closely with renowned consultancy institute and innovation partner Epea. The Cradle to Cradle principles also include the improvement of social and environmental impact on production and supply chain.
“We strive to use only sustainable materials,” explained Schleich CEO Dirk Engehausen. “As a first step, by the end of 2027 all our figurines will be recyclable or biodegradable. We are also working hard at finding recycled or bio-based material for the future production of our toys.”
Schleich says people have been handing down its long-lasting and timeless figurines for many decades now, meaning they have a much smaller environmental footprint than many other toys, and the aim of the new strategy is to reduce this footprint even further. It has four focus areas: children, toys, the planet and people.
First tangible results can already be seen in the reduced plastic content of packaging. All Schleich packaging will be recyclable by no later than 2025 and, from 2023 onwards, the company will only use cardboard that is FSC-certified for its packaging. Compared to 2020, the company has reduced plastic in all its packaging by around 20%.
Sustainable play has been embedded in the DNA of Schleich since the very beginning. The company has been producing highly detailed, high-quality and extremely long-lasting toys for over 85 years.
“Our figurines are timeless and have always been handed down from generation to generation. This longevity significantly reduces the carbon footprint of our products,” said Dirk. “But we can’t rest on our laurels. We’re conducting research into long-lasting materials for products and packaging that conserve resources.”
By adopting the Cradle to Cradle principles, Schleich figurines are fed back into the product cycle at the end of their lives, so they ideally can become a new Schleich figurine with the same high-quality material.
“We strongly believe that with this holistic approach, we can contribute to a more sustainable toy industry,” Dirk added.
The goal is to transform the entire company and make each individual area even more sustainable, from the production of the figurines all the way through to sales and distribution. To do so, Schleich is collaborating with the consultancy institute and innovation partner Epea, which will support the company on the path.
There are five key criteria for Cradle to Cradle certification: Material Health, Product Circularity, Clean Air & Climate Protection, Water & Soil Stewardship and Social Fairness.
CEO Dirk Engehausen concluded: “We’re on an exciting journey towards becoming a company that not only talks about sustainability, but makes it an integral part of its strategy.”