At Radio Flyer, we love the outdoors and want to preserve the environment for future generations of trike pedallers and wagoneers.
Our carbon footprint includes our energy use at our facilities, Radio Flyer-controlled logistics, employee travel, and manufacturing of our products. With 97 percent of our emissions created during the production of our products, our most powerful opportunities for achieving reductions come from our material choices and product design. In 2018 we developed a sustainability review process to evaluate our products environmental impact during their design phase. We include greenhouse gas emissions as one of the criteria for evaluating our products. Analyzing GHG emissions during product design allows our engineers to make design improvements and material selections that reduce emissions across all of our product categories. Additionally, this will allow us to continue making progress towards our goal for our products to have an average carbon intensity of 4.3kg CO2e or less.
Product Improvements through sustainable design
Radio Flyer’s engineers have been successfully letting their imaginations take flight. By joining their passion for innovative design with their concerns for the environment, they have been creating exciting new products that will both delight children and protect our environment. Our strong environmental goals ensure that our teams explore new materials and designs to improve the sustainability of our offerings every year. We highlight a few achievements here:
Our Big Flyer Sport, starting production in June 2015, features a number of sustainability improvements:
The 3-in-1 EZ Fold Wagon® replaces plastic in the wagon body and integrates fabric to reduce the product weight by over 7 pounds yielding a 24% decrease in product-related GHG emissions. Not only is the wagon easy for parents to fold and handle, the smaller size and lighter weight also reduce the emissions from product transport.
Radio Flyer’s Tesla Model S for Kids provided an opportunity to partner with an aspirational brand leading the electric car future while also solving consumers’ number one frustration with battery-operated ride-ons – the battery. Talking with hundreds of consumers, we heard that lead acid batteries are heavy, take a long time to charge, need to be recharged frequently, and lose capacity and need to be replaced after a few years. The Lithium-ion battery in our Teslas, as in the version for adults, solves these issues.
Employing a lithium-ion battery pack consisting of individual cells, the Tesla battery can be recharged many more times than a lead acid battery (500% more!); the longer life means fewer replacement batteries are needed. The Tesla battery also charges much faster than a traditional lead-acid battery and maintains its charge for a much longer time. To reduce the energy input required, we designed our battery to travel more miles as well as provide more minutes of play time per charge. A time-out feature helps batteries last longer by automatically turning off the headlights and dashboard electronics if they are left on more than ten minutes without driving.
The Tesla partnership is bringing additional sustainability benefits. We are able to teach kids about the benefits of electric cars and demonstrate the behaviors they will likely encounter as more of the world’s cars go electric. For example, we have a port on the car that the child can plug into to charge the battery - just like the cars they may be driving in 10 years.
SCIENCE BASED TARGETS INITIATIVE
Radio Flyer has committed to do our part to keep climate change well below 2 degrees Celsius. Radio Flyer commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 33% by 2030 from a 21017 base year. Radio Flyer also commits to reduce scope 3 GHG emissions 28% per ton of product sold by 2030 from a 2017 base year. We will communicate our annual progress here. Learn more about Science Based Targets.
Radio Flyer is a member of RE100, the global corporate renewable energy initative uniting hundreds of businesses committed to using 100% renewable energy. Our target is to achieve 100% renewable electricity across global operations by 2020. This will reduce our CO2 emissions by over 850 metric tons each year. Learn more about RE100.
Clean Production Action: The Chemical footprint project
Radio Flyer has joined the Clean Production Action's Chemical Footprint Project every year since 2016. This drives us to better manage the chemicals used in the manufacturing of our products. Learn more about the Chemical Footprint Project.
Supporting our retail partners sustainability efforts
Radio Flyer Recycles, You should too!
You can help protect our planet by recycling all packaging that your new toy comes in. All corrugate boxes and plastic bags containing accessory parts are recyclable at local recycling centers. When you are done using a product you can prevent it from ending up in a landfill by donating it to an organization that can help find a home for it. Another alternative is disassembling used products with simple household tools in to similar materials such as plastic, metal, fabric, and wood, and recycling them at a local recycling center. For products that are not able to be separated in to a single material, visit www.earth911.com, enter your zip code, and contact your local recycling centers for further guidance on how to recycle these parts. For products containing batteries, visit www.earth911.com, enter the type of battery and your zip code to find the nearest recycling center that can accept your used batteries.
Radio Flyer has also committed to carbon neutral shipping for all products sold on radioflyer.com. Every time a purchase is made on our website, Radio Flyer will offset 100% of carbon emissions from shipping through a verified emission reduction project. Learn more about carbon neutral shipping.
LEED CERTIFIED HQ
Radio Flyer is known for its commitment to long-lasting kids’ products that inspire creativity and fun. That same spirit infused our renovation of 70,000 square feet of former manufacturing and warehousing space at our headquarters in Chicago. With a history of helping consumers make decades-old trikes and wagons look and work like new, refurbishment was a natural fit for us. Our re-purposing of the warehouse space and other green design solutions such as geothermal energy, a bioswale network, cisterns for storm water retention, fertilizer-free irrigation, and landscaping with native prairie plants helped the project earn Platinum Certification for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
In 2020, we completed the installation of solar panels on the roof of our Chicago headquarters. These panels generate over 60% of the electricity needed to run our office. Additionally, our geothermal hearing system has reduced our natural gas consumption by 300k therms since 2012.
A 30-foot glass façade provides natural light and a view of the backyard, created after some of the manufacturing buildings were removed. It offers an inviting landscape with native plants, walking paths, a vegetable garden and a picnic space which the company enjoys during the summer. The renovation focused on employee health and productivity with exercise and wellness rooms and sit/stand desks in the communal work area – even for our Chief Wagon Officer.
The design features lend a playful energy to the space with bright murals of imaginative play and a parade of old wagons overhead. A heritage wall greets visitors with a display of 100 years of the brand’s legacy of innovation. The open-plan café offers Flyers a place to meet informally and to gather on Tuesdays for company lunches.
“For the first time in decades, I’m not in a private office but out on the floor with everyone else,” says CWO Robert Pasin. “I love the new space and its focus on collaboration and fun. It’s wonderful to take a break and glide about the first floor on my custom scooter.”
WASTE AND SUSTAINABILITY AT OUR HQ
Our Eco Flyers team leads our environmental sustainability efforts, working to minimize the impact that we have on the environment, both at work and home. The team’s goal is to identify opportunities to help each Flyer reduce his or her carbon footprint, to minimize waste and share new ways to educate our team on all things sustainable.
Our new composting initiative brings our headquarters one step closer to becoming a Zero Waste Facility. Composting helps reduce greenhouse gases and teaches Flyers how to live sustainably. The finished compost gives us a rich fertilizer to use in our Little Green Garden.
The "Little Green Garden" is our on-site garden where employees grow veggies and herbs.
By removing trash cans throughout the office, composting our food scraps, and many other initiatives we now recycle over 97% of the waste produced.
In 2019, we worked with a key factory partner to better insulate our injection molding machines. This improved the energy efficiency of our manufacturing by preventing heat-loss. This reduces the energy required to make our products by over 80,000 kWHrs per year.
In 2020, we developed several new products with a factory that is 67% powered by solar panels. This reduces the carbon emissions of these products by over 565 tons of CO2 as compared to manufacturing at a traditionally coal-powered factory.
UN Global Compact
We are proud to have joined the U.N. Global Compact in 2017, joining a group of over 11,000 companies worldwide that are committed to upholding the highest standards in the areas of human rights, labor practices, environmental responsibility, and anti-corruption. In late 2015, nearly 200 countries signed on to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), a set of 17 goals with associated targets for improving social and environmental conditions worldwide. Radio Flyer supports these goals and encourages all companies to consider what they can do to help attain them. Our ongoing environmental and social initiatives contribute to many of these goals, with a several of them being particularly well-aligned, including:
• Our LEED Platinum headquarters and numerous greenhouse gas emissions reduction initiatives contribute to the Climate Action goal (SDG goal 13).
• The generations-long durability of our products and our focus on safer materials in our products support the Responsible Consumption and Production goal (SDG goal 12).
• Our extensive community engagement from building playgrounds to [other example], supports the Sustainable Cities and Communities goal (SDG goal 11).
• Stimulating the creativity and imagination of children around the world contributes to the Quality Education goal (SDG goal 4).
As we progress on our sustainability journey, we expect to be increasingly informed in our plans and actions by what we can do to further advance these and the other U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.