Green Product, Socially Responsible, Toy, Transportation
Hape’s e-moto is a stylish version of the real thing, enhanced with speedy stripes and hot-rod flames. The bamboo frame is lightweight, but durable, and is accented with details in plastic, a working kickstand, muffler, and throttle.
How Hape International, Inc. is a Green Company
With its own brands and as a private label manufacturer for many mass-marketed brands, Hape’s green manufacturing methods and social responsibility efforts touch a wide group of consumers.
Beginning with years of testing, a worldwide design workshop, and bamboo as the key eco-friendly material, Hape has led the way in its collection of earth-friendly toys. Hape, whose core business is the development and production of superior infant, toddler, and preschool toys, has spared no effort in continuing to build on its Hape-branded premium products, including vehicles, dollhouses, games, and creative activities.The new packaging is a brown recycled paper with a white label that covers just two panels, rather than the entire box. All ink is soy-based. In addition to bamboo, a drop of beeswax is added to many products to polish the bamboo.
As an employer Hape, offers a fair wage, pension, unemployment insurance, and benefits that provide for time off in case of illness. Breakfast and lunch are offered each weekday in the campus cafeteria for a subsidized fee. The company strives to create a working environment where employees and their managers are partners in creating superior products. The operations are filled with interesting and challenging jobs, which can provide access to higher-level jobs. The company takes responsibility in helping its employees to identify their strengths and skills and guiding them to the next step in their career journey. It has a long-standing commitment to ensure each one of its approximately 1,000 employees around the world is treated fairly and with dignity. In fact, over 120 have worked at Hape for over 10 years.
Hape has earned the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI) Code of Business Practices Certificate, which confirms it has implemented and maintained a Code of Business Practices related to social responsibility. Hape has contributed to the future of young children by funding the construction of three schools in the poorest province of China. To date, more than 3,000 children have had the experience of attending a Hape-built school. Hape also supports gifted children with financial assistance and awards scholarships to high achievers. Hape has also made donations of toys. It has contributed toys to the earthquake victims in Si Chuan province.
Hape strives not only to grow its business profitably and minimize environmental impact, but also to preserve and protect natural resources. Its environmental efforts incorporate a rethink/recycle/reuse/reduce philosophy with regard to plant operations, sustainable packaging, and selecting appropriate raw materials. As a prime example, Hape puts bamboo to work. This renewable resource is one of the fastest growing plants on the earth. It also helps increase biodiversity in the area in which it grows by increasing water table levels. Even more helpful to mother earth, bamboo grows so quickly it helps to lower the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Hape actually pays more for its paint because it asks for more pigment to be used and less water. This not only reduces water consumption, but also reduces the energy required to dry the material afterwards and makes the colors more vibrant. It’s a great way to save money in the long run, and be environmentally responsible at the same time.
When Hape first started as a manufacturer they noticed how much heat it needed to properly produce toys. In networking with other factories in the area it discovered there was a power plant that was spending a significant amount of money to cool steam, which was a byproduct of that factory. Due to its close proximity, the power plant was able to build a pipeline connecting the factories where the steam was sent to Hape and then returned as cool water to the power plant, creating an energy neutral process.
Once the products are made, a “green” plan is needed on how to package them for shipping and eventual consumption. In this regard, it is important to use recycled cardboard and organic inks such as soy or vegetable-based. However, not all of its products go into cardboard boxes. For example, some need to be packaged in bags. Instead of using just any bag, it recently started using a method where it creates bags from recycled PET bottles. The bags themselves are even re-usable once the toy is taken out, therefore reducing the amount of waste due to packaging.
Hape is determined to be eco-friendly at each stage of production. It uses water-based paints wherever possible to reduce the amount of lacquer and other potentially armful chemicals. It also tries to use as little paint as possible, and when it does, it has special protocols, like a “drip-catcher” that recycles the paint to the beginning of the process.
It recycles wood dust created in production and makes medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to create more high quality children’s toys. It has been certified as meeting the Chain of Custody requirements (SGS – COC-2819) for materials that come from a managed forest.
Its innovative manufacturing process is optimized to reduce waste. The machines can be calibrated, and the production facilities altered to accommodate many different materials and material sizes. This provides flexibility to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity with minimal increase in effort.