The LEGO Groups’ ambition to make a positive impact upon the environment leads to billion‑kroner investment in renewable energy.

Over the next four years the LEGO Group's parent company KIRKBI A/S will invest approx. DKK 3bn (EUR 400m) in the construction of a new offshore wind farm off the German coast. KIRKBI will own one third of the wind farm’s production of electric power – equivalent to the output of more than 25 wind turbines – when the facility is completed in 2015.

The 77‑turbine wind farm will be built as a joint venture by three Danish companies: DONG Energy, the Oticon Foundation via William Demant Invest, and KIRKBI. It will be the biggest investment private Danish companies have ever made in a wind‑energy project.

To KIRKBI, which owns 75% of the LEGO Group, the investment is a healthy long‑term investment that will also contribute with more renewable energy to the wider community. For the LEGO Group the investment fits well with its high ambition of making a positive impact upon the environment.

“One of our fundamental values is to enable future generations of children to grow up in a better world. We do that first and foremost through our play materials – but also by improving the safety of our employees, improving the energy efficiency of our production, and reducing the volume of waste. In the field of renewable energy our objective is an ambitious one – and I am very pleased at this time to be able to announce this investment,” says Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, LEGO Group CEO.

The company’s goal is to generate enough renewable energy capacity to meet 100% of its energy needs by 2020. By investing in the wind‑turbine project off the coast of Germany, the LEGO Group will be able to meet its target because the wind farm is expected to produce more electricity than the company’s total electricity consumption up to and including 2020.

In addition to its investment in renewable energy, the LEGO Group is also investing resources in improving its energy efficiency in production by 5% p.a. In 2010 it succeeded in reducing – by 17% – the consumption of gas used for heating its premises at its Czech factory by reprogramming the thermostats. The reduction was achieved in spite of the fact that the factory during the period was expanded by the addition of an extra production hall and a doubling of office capacity.

There are other fields, too, in which the LEGO Group works toward making a positive impact on the environment. An objective is to continue to produce safe toys without product recalls, and by 2015 the company aims globally to be one of the 10 best employers in the world in terms of the best and most safe working environment. In addition, it is actively engaged in charity activities throughout the world through the LEGO Foundation.

“This massive investment in wind energy is not a one‑off event – it is an integral part of our overall ambition of making a positive impact on the world. We’re on a journey, a never‑ending journey – but the investment in renewable energy is a huge step in the right direction,” says Jørgen Vig Knudstorp.

Facts:

  • The wind farm will be built approx. 55 km off the north‑west coast of Germany
  • The offshore wind farm will comprise 77 wind turbines
  • The wind farm will be one of the largest in Germany, generating enough electricity to power approx. 300,000 German households
  • KIRKBI A/S, which owns 75% of the LEGO Group, will own 32% of the offshore wind farm
  • The KIRKBI investment will total approx. DKK 3bn (EUR 400m) over the next four years
  • Work on the offshore wind farm will commence in 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2015
  • The plan is for the wind farm to begin supplying power in 2014, with the right to generate power for the next 25 years
  • The investment in renewable energy is the biggest of its kind ever undertaken by a private Danish company
  • The investment in renewable energy will qualify the LEGO Group for the Windmade standard (http://www.windmade.org/), a global standard for the promotion of renewable energy – which the LEGO Group helped establish
  • Read more about the LEGO Group’s goals and results in Progress Report 2010.( http://aboutus.lego.com/en-us/sustainability/goals-and-progress/progress-report/)

Further information:

LEGO Group
 
Charlotte Simonsen
+45 7950 6579
media@LEGO.com

KIRKBI A/S:
Frederikke Tømmergaard 
+45 5215 9373

Oticon Foundation
Søren Nielsen
+45 3917 7100

William Demant Invest
Niels Jacobsen
+45 3917 7100

DONG Energy :
Media Relations
Helene Aagaard
+45 9955 9330

Investor Relations
Morten Hultberg Buchgreitz
+45 9955 9750



DONG Energy is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe. We are headquartered in Denmark. Our business is based on procuring, producing, distributing and trading in energy and related products in Northern Europe. We have approximately 6,000 employees and generated DKK 55 billion (EUR 7.3 billion) in revenue in 2010. DONG Energy has constructed more of the world’s largest offshore wind farms than any other company and is consequently the market leader in this field. DONG Energy has approximately 1,3 GW offshore wind power in operation and approximately 1,1 GW under construction in the UK, Germany and Denmark. For further information, see
www.dongenergy.com

The Oticon Foundation is a commercial foundation. Its investment activities are managed by William Demant Invest A/S (WDI), which is wholly owned by the Oticon Foundation. The Oticon Foundation is the controlling shareholder of William Demant Holding A/S (WDH) which has over 7,000 employees and activities in more than 100 countries across the world. Oticon, one of the world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers, is part of the WDH Group.

Kirkbi Invest is owned by KIRKBI A/S which is the Kirk Kristiansen Familiy’s holding- and investment company with activities within 3 areas: 75% ownership of LEGO, 36% ownership of Merlin Entertainments and among other things a number of investments in bonds, listed and unlisted equities, and real estate.