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Power of Play

Our Sustainability Story: Creating a More Playful Planet

2021-08-10 by Melissa & Doug
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At Melissa & Doug, it’s natural for us to expand our brand purpose beyond nurturing children’s imaginations to nurturing the environment, both ecological AND social. This helps us lay a better foundation for restoring play and children’s futures. And it starts with making timeless, sustainable toys for a thriving and inclusive world — toys of enduring quality, meeting our highest standards.

Sustainability at Melissa & Doug

Kids looking at flowers with a Melissa & Doug magnifying glass

Thriving Forests

Here’s how we’re doing good when it comes to wood! Our sustainability plan is dedicated to helping protect and preserve our planet’s natural resources for our children’s future.

We love wood (it’s in our roots)! We use it whenever we can because it’s both natural and renewable. In fact, Melissa & Doug is the #1 preschool brand for wooden toys, according to a recent consumer survey!  That’s why it’s important to us to replace the wood we use through our global reforestation partnership with One Tree Planted. This program allows us to restore our natural resources.  We also ensure our wood and paperboard is sourced responsibly and maintain a carbon neutral footprint in our operations.

We Replace What We Use

Melissa & Doug Tabletop Train toy featuring wooden treesTrees are important!  They clean our air and water, help regulate our climate, and provide an essential habitat for wildlife.  It’s important that we do our part to ensure the world has healthy forests. Our global reforestation program with One Tree Planted allows us to plant a tree for every tree we use each year. 

We Source Responsibly

Child playing with Melissa & Doug Food Groups wooden toy
Recognized by parents as the #1 preschool brand for sustainable toys and for wooden toys, Melissa & Doug is a leader in the industry in responsible supply chain management, using mainly sustainable materials, such as wood and paper, across most of our toys. In 2020, we were the first major toy brand in the U.S. to earn Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) certification for our new stationery line. We are committed to ensuring 100% of paper products and more than half our wood products will be FSC® certified by 2025, meaning these materials come from sustainable, responsibly managed forests.

We Are Carbon Neutral

Child playing with Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Dump Truck wooden toyReducing our global carbon footprint is essential. We’re proud to announce that we have made a commitment to become carbon neutral in our operations by the end of 2021.

Timeless Toys

For us, sustainability means toys stand the test of time! Our sustainability story begins with the toys themselves — ensuring that the quality, durability, and play value meet our highest standards.

Child playing with Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker wooden toy

We make well-crafted and timeless toys that are developed with care to be passed down from generation to generation or shared family to family.  We pay special attention to every detail to ensure we are developing safe and high-quality toys that create endless possibilities for play!  Don’t just take our word for it, check out our amazing ratings and reviews! By making quality toys that stay in the hands of children and out of landfills, we reduce waste and encourage “sharing is caring” for kids at play. 

Toys Crafted with Care

Melissa & Doug Jumbo Stacking Train wooden toy close-up
What makes a Melissa & Doug toy so special? It’s the attention to all the little details from design to delivery that add up to an enriching play experience for your child — and for the child you’ll want to pass the toy along to.

Safety Is Our Signature

Melissa & Doug Take-Along Kingdom wooden train toy closeup of signature
From day one, we’ve signed our names to every product we make. We take that signature seriously. It’s our commitment to you that you can trust Melissa & Doug products. Our products comply with US, EU and other international safety regulations. 

Sharing Is Caring

Two kids sharing a secret
Melissa & Doug grew as a brand based on word-of-mouth love. Over 85 percent of our products have a 4-star or higher rating, with 90 percent of these boasting a 5-star rating! We love how our toys are shared from child to child and generation to generation, passing along the power and endless possibilities of open-ended play!

Inclusive World

This is about creating all kinds of toys (and content) for all kinds of kids! A sustainable world is an inclusive world. And at Melissa & Doug, we’re committed to making open-ended play possible for ALL children.  

Two kids seated at the Melissa & Doug diner play space
We all love to play!  We create fun and inclusive toys that are simple and easy to play with, encouraging developmental learning for all children during their most critical time for growth.  We partner with the American Academy of Pediatrics to champion the healthiest ways for children to play and believe every child should be able to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. 

Power of Play

Two kids using Melissa & Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop! toy as pretend musical instruments
Play is so important to healthy development that pediatricians are now advised to write actual prescriptions for it! We created the Power of Play alliance with the American Academy of Pediatrics to promote the benefits of open-ended play and to give parents the tools to make it an essential, skill-building part of children’s lives. 

Alliance with American Academy of Pediatrics > 

Skill-Building Toys

Child playing with Melissa & Doug See & Spell wooden toyAt Melissa & Doug, we hear every day from families who share how our toys are helping their kids with essential developmental and life skills. Especially close to our hearts are the parents, educators, and therapists who use our toys to help children with special needs. Our goal is to make our toys accessible to as many children as possible.

Toys for developmental needs >

Playful, Inclusive Content

Child wearing glasses and reading Melissa & Doug Poke-A-Dot book
Our blog often features stories on how our toys can help kids play to their strengths and differences — whether it’s a piece about playful learning for kids with autism or outdoor activities for children with sensory issues. We see play as a way for parents to understand how their kids tick — how they learn best, where they need help, what fuels their passions.  

Blogs for developmental needs >

Additionally, Melissa & Doug is dedicated to building a culture of sustainability in its workplace through various initiatives, from “going paperless” for many activities to choosing sustainable office supplies to creating a diversity committee to coordinating associate volunteer events that benefit the environment.

To learn more about Melissa & Doug and sustainability, read our press release >

– FSC® C156584
– Consumer Survey Source: 360 Market Reach, January 2021


Melissa & Doug

Our team of play experts occasionally enjoys sharing news about our company, new product launches, and some of the #CountlessWaysToPlay with our toys, crafts, and games. At Melissa & Doug, we’re on a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through kid-powered play!

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