Saturday, 28 December 2013

Challenging Hasbro on the sustainability of card used in "Risk"

BFTF recently played the board game "Risk" for the first time recently...and got his ass whipped!

But it was good fun - after all, who doesn't like a bit of global domination of an evening - and BFTF was thinking about buying Risk for the BFTF family.

It costs, at the time of writing, around £25.

Clearly, the actual manufacturing cost for the board, case, cards etc is far, far below £25. And BFTF is cool with that - intellectual property and all that.

The point being that this is a very high margin product, presumably both for Argos and for the manufacturer, Hasbro (owner of Parker Games)

So you would think that Hasbro would be able to do the right thing and use sustainably sourced card for the game board, box, cards instructions etc.

As opposed to, you know, UNsustainably sourced card that might come from illegally logged tropical forests, or irresponsibly cleared forest that results in the loss of plant and animal ecosystems.

The company has an environmental policy, which can be found here.

However, right in the first sentence, the policy appears to have an articulated-lorry sized get out clause :

"Hasbro purchases paper from suppliers who practice sustainable forestry. Both of our owned and operated factories have achieved certification from recognized certifying bodies like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)."

"Like" the FSC??? BFTF is not aware of any other well known standard that is like the FSC.

Do they perhaps mean PEFC? (which is a much weaker standard) or ISO14001 (which does not mandate any particular level of sustainability at all)?

But Hasbro clearly understand that FSC is the gold standard, as this is the only certification that they refer to.

So BFTF send an email and a Tweet asking Hasbro to clarify.....

Update: 13 Jan 14:
Received the following encouraging response from Hasbro:

"The paper and board used in the risk game is mostly FSC certified. Our primary suppliers of paper and board are FSC certified but we also engage suppliers and materials that use other types of certification like PEFC. As you have seen on our website we have set ourselves a target of 90% usage of these materials and sources for all of paperboard packaging and in-box game content, by 2015. For the Risk game in particular we have probably achieved that goal already."

Hasbro use mostly sustainable FSC card for "Risk"!

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