Source: Licensing Expo

Sustainability is a big focus for the toy industry, and now it’s getting a showcase at Licensing Expo.

The Global Licensing Group — organizers of Licensing Expo — will continue its strategic partnership with Products of Change (POC) to present a pair of sustainability sessions at this year’s event. The world’s largest licensing trade show returns to the Las Vegas Strip from May 24-26, 2022 when Informa Markets and Licensing International open the doors and reunite the licensing community at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center (MBCC) following a two-year, pandemic-fueled hiatus.

POC initially collaborated with the Global Licensing Group to bring a sustainability focus to Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) and the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit (B&LIS) last year.

“Sustainability and DEI are top of mind for us as leaders in the trade show sector; its critical to model behavior that drives real progress and deeply roots sustainable practices in the industries we serve,” says Anna Knight, senior vice president of the Global Licensing Group, Informa Markets. “We are so proud to renew and strengthen our partnership with Products of Change to, first, spread awareness of the long-lasting impact each individual can have on our planet’s health, followed by instilling sustainability into the core of each business’ operations. Our ambition is for the licensing industry to lead by example, encouraging others to follow suit, and we look forward to laying the foundation at Licensing Expo.”

Sustainability Sessions in the Live Theater:

  • Sustainability 101: A deep dive into the science behind why sustainable transformation is vital for business future prosperity. Helena Mansell-Stopher, CEO at Products of Change, and Andrea Green, principle at Globally Green and POC’s U.S. Ambassador, will explain why we need to transition business and fundamental guiding principles to build a sustainable framework.
  • Sustainability in Licensing: Manufacturers and brand owners will share their sustainability journey thus far, their strategic plans, and areas of collaboration to move the industry forward.

Additionally, a Sustainability Business Lounge will be open to all attendees and exhibitors to meet with counsel to discuss sustainability efforts.

Related: Toy Industry Bets on Licensing Expo 2022 as Exhibitors Make Plans for Las Vegas

Licensing Expo and POC say that they will also dedicate “significant resources to bring sustainability and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to the forefront to drive long-lasting change” with the following efforts:

  • Measuring and reducing carbon footprint: Top-line commitments for 2023 include managing waste streams, from significantly reducing carpet on the expo floor to identifying digital alternatives to signage and printed materials.
  • Hosting activations that showcase real-world examples of how licensed products can be produced ethically and using sustainable methods while remaining visually stimulating, on-brand, and commercially viable.
  • Providing a platform to amplify diverse voices, working in tandem with Black Lives Matter Licensing, Products of Change, Women in Toys, and other relevant organizations
  • Holding the License This! competition at Licensing Expo and BLE to elevate voices and brands that lack the investment or experience needed to broker licensing deals.
  • Running a Retail Mentoring Program for junior retail buyers. A year-long program that consists of seminars, coaching and mentoring, brand owner site visits, and expo passes to encourage the younger generation to pursue future career opportunities in the retail space.

Free registration for Licensing Expo is open now. Additional information can be found at

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.