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Hasbro to Cut PVC from Packaging; Beats 10% GHG Goal

Hasbro will eliminate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from all new core toy and game packaging beginning in 2013, the company has announced, as it launches its 2010 corporate social responsibility report.

The company says it has already started to phase out PVC from some packaging. It says its 2013 commitment will cover blister and window box packaging for Hasbro products produced in its owned and operated manufacturing facilities and by third parties.

In the web-based report, Hasbro said preliminary testing has identified PET and rPET as substitute materials.. The company says both of these are more easily recycled than PVC and release no toxins when incinerated. But it notes that rPET is not readily available in China, where most of the company’s manufacturing takes place. To help move to PET and rPET, Hasbro will look to decrease the size of window box and blister packaging.

Hasbro subsidiary Wizards of the Coast, which makes Magic: The Gathering games, moved from PVC to PET for all its blister packaging last year, and from PET to RPET on over 70 percent of its products this year.

In other packaging moves, last year Hasbro replaced all wire ties in its packages with ties made from paper rattan or bamboo mix, eliminating about 34,000 miles of wire ties. In November 2011, the company released its first paper sourcing policy, stating an expectation that suppliers will source paper with as much post-consumer recycled content as practical and financially viable.

It has a goal to derive at least 75 percent of paper and board packaging from recycled material, or from sources that practice sustainable forest management, by 2011. By 2015, Hasbro plans to increase that goal to 90 percent.

It has implemented an internal checklist, which its designers use to compare packaging systems on factors including number of packaging layers, greenhouse gas emissions, and the type and weight of material used. Hasbro is also conducting preliminary life cycle analyses on some of its product brands.

The company says it has reduced the size of cartons used to ship its product, specified 100 percent recycled material in medium-grade paper and specified a minimum 98 percent post-consumer recycled content in Kraft grade paper.

This year it also overhauled the design of Play-Doh cans, printing directly onto the cans themselves, which it says should save 1,800 trees.

The report says that Hasbro has reduced its global greenhouse gas emissions from its owned and operated facilities by more than 11 percent from a 2008 baseline, meeting a goal for a 10 percent reduction two years ahead of schedule. Total indirect emissions fell from 24,985 to 23,639 metric tons CO2e in 2010, while direct emissions fell from 7,462 to 6,841 metric tons.

Hasbro says it has invested in energy-saving manufacturing equipment, such as all-electric injection molding machines that are 70 percent more energy efficient than hydraulic machines. Energy reduction projects have also included new air compressors, HVAC and chiller equipment; installation of LED lights and occupancy sensors; converting boilers to natural gas; installing roof insulation; replacing door and window seals; and ensuring equipment is shut off when unused.

Hasbro’s factories undergo an energy assessment by a certified consultant or a qualified site employee every two years. Assessments are conducted every three years at its R&D and warehouse facilities, and every four years at offices.

Hasbro says it is committed to sourcing renewable energy when and where it is cost effective, but that green energy markets are not developed enough to supply competitively priced electricity in the areas where it operates factories and offices.

For international shipments from China, Hasbro says it is pushing to use rail and barge transport, and to ship through the seaport closest to the factory, resulting in fewer emissions. In 2010 80 percent of Hasbro product was moved through the seaport closest to the factory, 21 percent of product leaving China was moved via rail and three percent was moved via barge.

Rail service for moving containers was not an option in China before 2007, making trucks Hasbro’s only option to get products to the port, the company says. But in 2006, Ping Yan Railway approached Hasbro with a partnership offer, and the next year Hasbro started using the first container railway service in southern China. Now, Hasbro says, an average shipment from its manufacturing vendor factories in Guangzhou to the Yantian port uses 93 percent less fuel than truck transportation.

In other logistics initiatives, at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., Hasbro moves over 95 percent of its containers during off-peak hours as a part of Southern California’s PierPASS program. And its U.S. regional distribution strategy positions products closer to retailer locations, reducing the number of shipments made and the distance product travels. Hasbro says it is developing similar distribution network strategies to be implemented in Eastern Europe and Russia in 2012.

Last year Hasbro recycled 82 percent of its non-hazardous waste at its owned and operated facilities, and it says it sends zero waste to landfill from its U.S. manufacturing processes. Its U.S. factory sends waste to International Paper Products to make Enviro-Fuelcubes, a biomass fuel used in commercial power plants.

In 2010, Hasbro recycled more than 9,500 tons of waste within Hasbro owned and operated facilities worldwide. Approximately 736,000 pounds of plastics were sent to a third party plastics recycler from the U.S. factory’s molding operation. The company’s machinery automatically regrinds and reuses waste injection molding runners.

In 2010, Hasbro reduced non-recycled non-hazardous waste by 9.6 percent from 2008 levels.

And in the same time frame it reduced water consumption at its U.S. factory by nine percent, normalized to average headcount. Hasbro has set a target to reduce its water use by 15 percent by 2012, from 2008 levels.

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