Melissa & Doug Cardboard Blocks | Source: Melissa & Doug

One of the biggest names in the wooden toy business is formalizing its commitment to sustainability.

Melissa & Doug revealed plans for a new initiative called Project Restore. The three-pillar effort is designed to “guide the company in its existing work on environmental responsibility, social equity, and inclusion, as well as its ambitious new plan to make the world a better place.” At the center of this initiative is a focus on supporting thriving forests that are renewed to support the cyclical development and production of the company’s products.

“We understand that children are growing up aware of issues around them like climate change and inclusivity,” says Fernando Mercé, CEO, Melissa & Doug. “Children and parents are searching for positivity and hope in the face of environmental and social uncertainty. Expanding our brand purpose beyond nurturing children’s imaginations to nurturing the environment is a natural step. By ensuring our products and packaging help forests thrive and contribute to an inclusive world, we lay a better foundation for restoring play and children’s futures for generations to come.”

Related: Melissa & Doug Launch Its First-Ever Brand Campaign ‘Timeless Toys. Endless Possibilities’

 The Three Pillars of Project Restore

  • Thriving Forests:  Supporting the renewal of forests by partnering with One Tree Planted for reforestation; ensuring that 100% of paper products and more than half of its wood products will come from sustainable, responsibly managed forests and be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified by 2025; and making a commitment to become carbon neutral in its operations by the end of 2021.    
  • Timeless Toys:  Making toys that can be passed down through generations that will be played with by kids and kept out of landfills, thus reducing waste. The company is working on streamlining packaging via source reduction, recyclable materials, use of recycled materials, and partnering with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition to add How2Recycle information to its labeling next year.
  • Inclusive World:  Melissa & Doug will continue its alliance with the American Academy of Pediatrics to encourage open-ended play and strong parent-child relationships for all children, and inclusivity by race, gender, and abilities is a central focus. In addition, the company will aim to drive greater representation of all children across its marketing content and within its innovation program. 

More 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.