Experts Needed for New Global Environmental Standards for Packaging

Packaging and Other “Green” Topics to be Discussed During TIA Seminar on Environmental Sustainability During Toy Fair 2010

GROWING GREEN: A Toy Industry Update on Environmental Sustainability and Bottom Line Growth will be held from 3:00 – 4:30 pm on Monday, February 15, 2010, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Advance registration is encouraged (free for TIA members; $149 for non-members).

Chaired by Danny Grossman, chair of the TIA Environmental Sustainability committee and CEO of Wild Planet Entertainment, the seminar will feature a presentation by Laura Phillips, vice president of toys at Walmart.  Ms. Phillips will discuss Walmart’s Packaging Scorecard, Sustainability Index and recent Green Business Summit.  Also on the agenda will be a discussion of the toy industry’s definition of sustainability; key environmental updates in the legislative and regulatory arenas; updates for toy factories, and considerations in transportation and logistics, and a panel presentation with members of the TIA Environmental Sustainability Committee on “How Doing Good Also Benefits the Bottom Line.”

The seminar follows the launch of an extensive TIA member self-assessment survey covering the areas of environmental strategy and policy, manufacturing, product and packaging, and transportation and logistics.  The survey will launch by mid-January 2010.

A new committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 122, Packaging, has been formed to develop proposed environmental standards for packaging based on established European Norms (EN) and proposed Asian guidelines.

ISO/TC 122/SC 4, Packaging and Environment, aims to develop a series of ISO standards to provide guidance on how to best utilize packaging resources while maintaining packaging functionality and considering environmental effects. The seven standards that will be included in the series address general requirements, source reduction, reuse, recycling, energy recovery, chemical recovery and organic recovery. The SC expects the standards to be approved and published in 2012.

U.S. involvement in these standards will be coordinated by a new American National Standards Institute (ANSI)–accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG).

This new ISO initiative is of particular interest as the toy industry moves toward reducing its carbon footprint. 

“Throughout the industry, manufacturers are continually looking for inventive ways to attract consumers while reducing costs of packaging and inserts, considering how those materials will be disposed, and their effect on the environment,” said Elizabeth Borrelli, TIA vice president for corporate social responsibility.  “This new ISO initiative offers the toy industry an opportunity to combine our efforts with those of other manufacturing industries and environmental stakeholders.”

The first meeting of the SC, held in December 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden, had strong U.S. participation. Twelve U.S. representatives attended, with Marilyn Baker of Coca-Cola serving as head of the U.S. delegation. U.S. experts will be serving in leadership roles in three of the seven working groups formed to develop the proposed standards.

Interested U.S. stakeholders are encouraged to get involved through MH10.4, the U.S. TAG to SC 4 that is being administrated by the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer. MH10.4 has formed seven Task Groups (TGs) to pursue U.S. work on each of the standards. The TAG is currently soliciting additional subject matter experts with an interest in serving as active participants in the Task Groups.  For more information or to participate in one of the U.S. Task Groups, please contact Mike Ogle (mogle@mhia.org).