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Is Crayola Sustainable?

Last updated: June 22, 2022

The current era has made it clear to corporations, especially those of larger size: profitability is important, but so is ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance). Companies and governments are among the most influential spheres around the world, with their actions not only being noticed by communities on a global scale, but the use of their products is scrutinized from every angle to make sure it is safe, repeatable, and sustainable. There aren't many who haven't heard of the Crayola company. Founded in 1885, Crayola is one of the most renewable and sustainable large corporations on the planet. It understands that the children of tomorrow are keeping a close eye on their every move.

In this article, we will go over some of Crayola's most sustainable practices, including their dedication to recycling old crafts, crayons, and markers. Finally, we will take a look at the myriad programs and mission values that Crayola has already implemented to encourage not just sustainable recycling methods, but how they are looking to color the world greener, one crayon at a time.

Crayola Sustainability Program

Crayola was founded in 1885 in a factory in New York. In as little as a few years, they opened up their plant to be powered by water - creating their first water mill production plant in 1903. At the time, Crayola produced slate pencils, crayons, and chalk for everyone in the community, mainly to provide teaching and learning materials for students and professors alike of any skill level. From the very beginning, Crayola took its sustainability responsibility very seriously in terms of its social and environmental impact, as they sought to limit emissions and utilize more renewable methods that were easier on the environment and air quality of nearby residents. 

Before the hard-hitting effects of the pandemic, Crayola had implemented the Crayola Colorcycle, a way to ship used and discarded Crayola products, such as markers and crayons, back to the manufacturer to be reused in a way that was sustainable for the environment. There were, and still are, many participants in this program - but it had to be temporarily suspended throughout the global pandemic due to health and safety concerns about the shipping labels. Crayola still has many green practices to note, which we will talk about below, but has paused ColorCycle marker donation shipments throughout the United States.

Crayola crayons, just like their markers, also contain stearic acid in all of their products during the creation process. At this time, Crayola stated they use stearic acid sourced from animal sources. While this source can also be taken from plant origins, Crayola has not yet commented on this statement.

Crayola And Their Green Practices

Crayola has been in the sustainability spotlight for many years now, and for good reasons. They have a commitment to all three pillars of sustainability, environmental, social, and governance. Crayola aims to be a completely sustainable investment so that it can further fuel the efforts of the company, its customers, and the surrounding communities to bring a little more security to everyone's work and play.

100% Renewable Energy For US Manufacturing: Starting in 2010, Crayola has shifted its operations to include more renewable energy, namely the use of solar farms. In 2020, however, Crayola announced that it is now 100% reliant on solar energy power via its energy contracts to manufacture all of its products on US soil using this method. This is touted to be about 3 billion crayons and a further 700 million markets a year, which has saved enough electricity to power more than 3000 homes in America, on average, annually.

ColorCycle: The color cycle program not only encourages donations to be brought forward from used Crayola products to be reused in the manufacturing process but also to use donated plastics and convert them into energy. Although temporarily suspended due to global efforts, Crayola is looking to reimplement this in the near future and has compensated by addressing its footprint and sustainable energy sources.

Reforested Pencils: Pencils made under the Crayola brand are sourced from responsibly grown forests and only take on a new supplier if it meets this requirement, to preserve and maintain the forest from which they draw the raw materials.

Reduced Footprint: Due to the switch to many non-renewable and sustainable practices, Crayola is aiming to drastically reduce all emissions by 2030 across all business operations that are vital for the going concerns of the enterprise.

Campus Recycling: Employees, contractors, and management alike are encouraged to recycle all materials, taking a top-down and from-withing approach. Materials collected by employees have saved over 2100 tons annually in waste disposal.

Edwin's Gardens: Crayola goes beyond its mission statement of keeping sustainable practice within, and takes it a step further. Employees are incentivized to grow community gardens. The proceeds and produce from this garden are donated, which equates to about a ton of vegetables per year.

Sustainable Crafting: Crayola encourages its users to submit to them a picture and description of crafts they have made using Crayola products and other household items that many will have at their disposal. This is then featured in their DIY crafts section, which explains clearly how to create sustainable crafts that are "upcycled". These include such items as bird houses, feeders, and picture frames.


Are Crayola markers vegan?

Crayola markers are not suitable for vegans, as they do not suit the double-checked vegan standards. Crayola markers are produced from stearic acid and this acid comes from plant or animal sources. Crayola has claimed that the acid contained in these ingredients is sourced from animals.

Are Crayola crayons vegan?

Crayola crayons, just like their markers, also contain stearic acid in all of their products during the creation process. At this time, Crayola stated they use stearic acid sourced from animal sources. While this source can also be taken from plant origins, Crayola has not yet commented on this statement.

Are Crayola products toxic?

Crayola products have been rigorously evaluated by independent toxicologists and have found that there aren't any significant toxic substances within the products that can prove harmful to the human body, even if periodically ingested by children and the vulnerable. With this being said, Crayola products are not available for consumption, and young children and compromised persons should be supervised for choking hazards and other such cautionary advice while at play.


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