LEGO - Building Environmental Milestones One Block at a Time
Author: Elise Catterall
LEGO reaches sustainability goals three years ahead of schedule, in commitment to minimise environmental impact of well-loved product.
More than 400 billion LEGO bricks have been produced since the company launched in 1949 – enough to span the distance from the earth to the moon 10 times. This makes the LEGO Group one of the largest – and most visible – users of plastics in the world. This is a reality that has not gone unnoticed by the executives of this beloved Danish toy manufacturer, as shown by their commitment to minimising the environmental impact of their global product.
Since 2012, the LEGO Group has invested over $1.2 billion to reach a goal of balancing 100% of their total energy use with energy from renewable sources. Just last month it achieved this goal – three years earlier than estimated. The goal, inspired by the LEGO Group’s partnership with WWF Climate Savers programme, was achieved through investment in offshore wind farms - most recently the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm off the coast of Liverpool UK.
CEO of the LEGO Group, Bali Padda, said “We work to leave a positive impact on the planet and I am truly excited about the inauguration of the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm. This development means we have now reached the 100% renewable energy milestone three years ahead of target. Together with our partners, we intend to continue investing in renewable energy to help create a better future for the builders of tomorrow.”
To celebrate the achievement – and to raise even more awareness of the importance of renewable energy – the LEGO Group has built the world’s largest LEGO brick wind turbine, standing 7.5 metres tall and using 146,000 bricks, setting a Guinness World Record.
Recognising the critical role that today’s children will play in future environmental issues, the LEGO group invited hundreds of children from the Liverpool area in the UK and more than a million from their social media platform, PlanetCrew, to participate in building challenges focused on renewable energy machines. Through the social media platform, they also encourage children to share their views on environmental responsibility. This is part of their mission to ‘protect the planet through the power of play’.
Beyond the renewable energy goal, the LEGO Group has also made several other environmental strategies a priority: reduction of CO2 emissions, the use of sustainable packaging, achieving a goal of zero waste in the production of their products, and, most importantly, finding alternatives to oil based materials by 2030. Petroleum-based plastics are non-sustainable and carry a significant environmental cost. The leadership displayed by the LEGO Group in this area is encouraging and will hopefully urge other companies to look at how they work with plastics. OR ‘and may lead to other companies looking at how they work with plastics.’
People love their LEGO bricks, and their durability, eternal appeal and unchanged design since 1958 means they can stay in play and be passed down from generation to generation. And this is what the LEGO Group wants; they encourage the donation and passing on of their bricks so they may never need to go to landfill – and so they may continue to inspire and entertain children worldwide.
- Hand down or donate your LEGO – don’t throw it away!
- Get involved with LEGO’s PlanetCrew
- Read more about LEGO’s commitment to sustainability
- Avoid buying imitation LEGO bricks.
Image: Photo courtesy of LEGO.com
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