Case Study: Sustainable Transformation of Zurich’s Iconic Plush Toy

Background: When Zurich Insurance approached Mace to conduct a product sustainability audit, one of the first things we focused on was their most beloved teddy bear. While this bear had become iconic, it was generic and made from unsustainable materials. It did not align with Zurich’s planet promise nor did it have any direct connection with their business/company.

Challenge: Zurich stakeholders were eager to retain the beloved bear, but they needed a sustainable alternative that connected with their business and reflected their dedication to environmental responsibility. Our challenge was to provide a solution that maintained the sentimental value of the original bear while aligning with Zurich’s sustainability goals.

Solution: We began by researching the bear’s usage and the audience. With our knowledge of all the good things Zurich do and lots of creative thinking we proposed a custom solution: a high-quality Macaw plush toy made from sustainable materials.

The connection between this product and Zurich’s environmental initiatives is really strong because the Macaw links directly to the Zurich Forest Project, a sustainable reforestation project in Brazil to convert barren farmland back into native forest that is rich in plant and animal life.  Each toy features a custom tag with a QR code that directs recipients to a site where they can learn more about Zurich’s reforestation efforts and their broader environmental initiatives.

This new plush toy retains the emotional appeal of the original bear but also embodies Zurich’s planet promise.

Impact: This transformation went beyond merely replacing an unsustainable item. It turned Zurich’s merchandise into a powerful tool for promoting their environmental commitment, educating recipients about the Zurich Forest Project, and reinforcing their brand values.

Our Role and Partnership: Mace brought our extensive experience in sustainable merchandise to the table. With our B Corp and EcoVadis certifications, and a longstanding commitment to sustainability, we are well-equipped to help Zurich achieve their goals and have a long-standing relationship with them as their preferred merchandise partner. Our innovative approach and dedication to sustainable practices ensure that Zurich’s new merchandise is not only sustainable but also impactful and engaging. More appealing and more relevant than ever before.

Conclusion: This case study highlights how Mace can transform corporate merchandise into meaningful, sustainable brand assets. By redesigning Zurich’s plush toy, we helped them support their environmental goals, strengthen their brand image, and engage their audience in a meaningful way.