Lego investing a billion kroner into sustainable materials

In an effort to become more sustainable, the toy manufacturer is hiring 100 specialists

Last year, Lego produced more than 60 billion Lego bricks (photo: Alan Chia) Last year, Lego produced more than 60 billion Lego bricks (photo: Alan Chia)
June 16th, 2015 11:42 am| by Pia Marsh

Lego will invest a billion kroner in finding sustainable materials for toys and packaging, including a replacement for oil-based plastic.

“It’s a big step in the right direction in achieving our ambition of sustainable materials by 2030,” Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, the CEO of the Lego Group, told Finans.

“We have already taken important steps to reduce our CO2 emissions and do something positive for the environment by reducing box sizes and investing in an offshore wind farm. Now, we are shifting our focus towards our materials.”

As part of the proposal, Lego will create a ‘Lego Sustainable Materials Centre’ in Berlin, where more than 100 specialists will take part in research and production.

A step in the right direction
Lego’s biggest shareholder Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen said it is an important and necessary step forward for the company.

“The investment is a testament to our continued ambition to have a positive impact on the world our future generations will inherit,” he told Finans.

He points out that it is largely in line with Lego Group’s mission statement and true to the motto of his grandfather, Ole Kirk Kristiansen: ‘Only the best is good enough.’

A challenging task
Producing an average of 60 billion bricks per year, Lego announced its mission to  find alternatives to oil-based plastic back in 2012.

Lego’s challenge, however, is to find a plastic material that is just as colour-responsive and physically stable as the current Lego bricks.

It also wants to find a biological material that is considered more sustainable than the oils and chemicals used in regular plastic.

“Several factors affect the environmental sustainability of materials. When we’re looking for new materials, all factors are included,” Knudstorp said.