The LEGO Group has announced it will spend $150 million on a Research and Development Centre for sustainable raw materials to use in its LEGO bricks. The LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre aims to find a replacement for LEGO materials that are more sustainable by 2030.
LEGO has already made positive steps to reduce its carbon footprint
Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO and President of the LEGO Group stated that it was a major step forward for the group along the path to achieving its goal by 2030. LEGO has already made positive steps to reduce its carbon footprint, reducing the size of its packaging, introducing FSC packaging and investing in an offshore wind farm.
The Sustainable Materials Centre will be based at the Group Headquarters in Billund Denmark, and more than 100 additional materials specialists will be recruited in the next few years to work in the centre, and external stakeholders and experts will also collaborate on the “challenging ambition”.
The decision to proceed was taken at the LEGO Group’s General Assembly in May 2015, three years after the Group first announced its ambition to source sustainable materials by 2030, as part of LEGO’s work to reduce its environmental footprint and leave a positive mark on the planet. In 2014, more than 60 billion LEGO pieces were manufactured and therefore sourcing alternative materials would reduce the LEGO Group’s environmental impact.
President Knudstorp pointed to the research they have done which has shown them the extent of the challenge they face, which is why they have boosted their resources. The Board of Directors have given their full commitment to boosting the work to ensuring a lasting positive impact. It is critical that quality and safety standards are not compromised and this is one of the drivers of the extensive research.
In recent years the LEGO Group has collaborated with WWF (through the Climate Savers Partnership signed in 2013) to develop a sustainable materials strategy, and they have recently struck a new partnership which focuses on a more accurate assessment of the sustainability and environmental impact of bio based materials and packaging.