21 Apr 2022

Sambro strengthens sustainability programme with new hire

With over 10 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry, Lisa Longley is joining Sambro to oversee the implementation of a new sustainability programme and manage the ethical compliance of the toy company’s supply base. 

In a newly created role, Ethical and Sustainability Manager, Lisa will work closely with suppliers and vendors to ensure that Sambro’s ethical sourcing requirements are met, and that all factories meet the needs of Sambro, its customers and licensors. 

Lisa’s experience working with Far East suppliers in an ethical sourcing and factory auditing capacity means that she is well versed in the requirements and challenges this can involve. 

Her first job has been to create an ESG committee and draw up a policy with clear objectives, which she will ensure are met. 

These include responsible sourcing and supply chain management, safeguarding the health, wellbeing and safety of Sambro employees, proactive management of consumption of resources and energy, and sourcing goods and services that generate a positive impact with customers. 

Lisa will also take responsibility for overseeing the prevention of discrimination and the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the work place, as well as the company’s anti-corruption and anti-bribery measures.

Paul Blackaby, CEO of Sambro, says: “Our ESG strategy is a pillar of our growth and value enhancement initiative, and Lisa’s appointment as Ethical Sustainability Manager will help drive forward our ESG ambitions and commitments across our business and wider supply chain.” 

Sambro works with over 10 leading licensors, including Disney, Nickelodeon, Mattel, Hasbro, Viacom, Bull Dog and Cosatto. The range of products under these brands is far-reaching and includes household names such as Barbie, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Disney Princess and Care Bears, with products falling within the Soft Toys, Creative Play, Novelties and Outdoor fun categories. In 2022, Sambro will distribute over 8 million units of character plush toys.

Lisa will undertake a review of Sambro’s ethical compliance requirements and compare them to each licensor to ensure all factories are meeting the correct standards. All vendors will also need to declare their manufacturing sites to allow full visibility of the supply chain.

Sambro recently expanded its European 3PL warehouse model to support sales growth in the EU and so this will also fall into Lisa’s remit for sustainability and ethical compliance as part of the supply chain.

She has already started to look at factory on-boarding processes to ensure that they are up to the standard that Sambro and its licensors expect.  

The new measures will also apply to the company’s own portfolio of brands, including Puzzle Palz, Love & Hugs and Let’s Create, which have a wide variety of toys within each brand.  

Sambro has long-term relationships with some of the world’s largest FMCG retailers, toy specialists, grocers and distributors. These include ASDA, The Entertainer, Pepco, Home Bargains, Smyths and Action. Lisa will also undertake audits of these retailers’ policies and systems. 

Lisa has a keen interest in sustainability on both a personal and professional level and is excited to be pushing Sambro forward in this field. 

“Managing the products we create, how they are packaged and the impact they have on the environment should be key considerations for all of us at Sambro,” she says. “I will be working with my colleagues across the business to initiate new ways of working, new product developments and other ‘green’ changes to how our business is run.” 


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