Environment

We strive to have a positive impact on society and the planet, which our children will inherit, and it is this focus on future generations that drives our work. We believe we have a responsibility to minimize the environmental impact of our operations.
Mountain tickling a cloud

Sustainable materials

We have an ambition to make LEGO® bricks from more sustainable materials by 2030, without compromising quality or safety. This means we need to develop entirely new materials that are safe and strong enough to be passed down through generations – and fit seamlessly with a LEGO brick made over 50 years ago.

Sustainable packaging

LEGO® bricks are designed to be reused and handed down through generations, but LEGO boxes and other packaging are often disposed of quickly. Currently, 93% of our packaging by weight is made from paper and cardboard, while some of our packaging contains single-use plastic. This kind of plastic isn’t generally recyclable, which is one of our requirements for a sustainable packaging material. That’s one of the reasons we’re taking urgent action to find more sustainable, paper-based packaging solutions and make all our packaging sustainable by 2025. In 2021, we used a total of 84,425 tonnes of packaging material.
Children’s hands playing with LEGO bricks, paper bags lying around

Bags in LEGO® boxes

We are replacing the single-use plastic bags used in LEGO boxes to package the loose bricks. In 2021, we completed a successful pilot project to test paper-based bags certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC-C117818), and we will continue to introduce the new paper-based bags in LEGO boxes in 2022. This new packaging will be phased in over the course of two years as new products are launched and machinery is installed in our factories.
Picture of plastic packaging as a before, the after picture is of paper packaging

E-commerce packaging

We are changing the way we pack our LEGO® sets for shipping. We are removing single-use disposable plastic, such as the air pillows that protect LEGO boxes and the plastic tape that seals the boxes, as they aren’t generally recyclable. For example, people ordering from LEGO.com in Europe receive a shipping package that contains recyclable paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC-C117818) and no single-use plastic.
Image of bedding one with plastic around it and another one with paper only

Licensed products

We have made encouraging progress to make packaging of our licensed and extended line products more sustainable, including e.g. removing plastic from garment hangtags and LEGO bedding sold in Jysk stores. In 2022, we will continue to transition packaging in the Licensing & Extended line to increase our use of paper-based solutions, focusing on areas such as minifigure accessories sets and Pick-a-Brick cups for our LEGO Brand Retail stores.
Girl with yellow hat

Inspired by circularity

The LEGO® System in Play supports the principles of circular design – a product made of quality materials with the durability, safety and consistency to be passed on and handed down through generations. We’re currently exploring how circularity can be embedded across our value chain, from using circular design and materials and eliminating waste to keeping LEGO products in play longer. As part of these efforts, we became a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) in 2020.

With EMF, we have hosted an online workshop on circularity for 13- to 18-year-olds, as well as multiple workshops during COP26 in Glasgow – all based on Learning through Play and our Build the Change series. Our own Circular Economy and Youth study, conducted in 2021 with over 6,000 children aged 8 to 18, shows that children care deeply about the planet, but find it difficult to relate to circularity.

In 2022, we will work to amplify the findings of the study in a call to policymakers to elevate circular economy in school curriculums and help give children a voice on the issues that matter to them.

A hand putting a label on a cardboard box

LEGO® Replay

Since the launch of LEGO® Replay in 2019 in the U.S., and in 2020 in Canada, 652,727 lbs (296,072 kg) of LEGO bricks have been donated to the program. This has extended the creative life of approximately 133 million bricks, exceeding a milestone of reaching 100,000 children in North America. In 2022, we plan to extend the LEGO Replay program.

The LEGO brick is designed to last. We pride ourselves on the high quality and longevity of our brick, and know that 97% of LEGO owners keep or hand down bricks from one generation to the next. With our LEGO Replay program, we want to inspire and help LEGO brick owners pass along the bricks they aren’t using – keeping LEGO bricks in play and circulation.

Reducing our CO2 impact

We continue to be 100% balanced by renewable energy, due to investments in offshore wind by our parent company KIRKBI A/S and investments in onsite renewable energy by the LEGO Group. We define ‘balanced by renewable energy’ as: energy generated from renewable sources, either on- or offsite, as being equal to, or more than the energy we use at our locations. We purchase and retire all available Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from our renewable energy investments and supplement these with accredited RECs when those investments are not available.
LEGO critter factory shaking hands with a critter tree

Total carbon emissions

We calculate and publish our total greenhouse yearly gas emissions every September, meaning this data is not yet available for 2021. In 2020, the total greenhouse gas emissions from our global operations and supply chain were 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). In the same year, we changed the way we calculate our carbon footprint to more accurately reflect our renewable energy purchases.

This means that the actual CO2 footprint of the electricity we use is smaller compared to previous years, when it was calculated using country-by-country averages.

Read our 2020 CO2 Emissions Report to learn more about our accounting methodology, as well as our commitment and progress to reducing our carbon footprint.

A LEGO critter hill waving it’s arms

Science-based target

In December 2020, we were the first large toy company to announce a science-based target, which commits us to reducing our absolute carbon emissions by 37% by 2032 compared to our 2019 baseline. The target has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative as consistent with levels required to keep global warming below 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.
Solar panels on a factory roof

Improving carbon efficiency

As one means of reaching our science-based target and tracking our progress along the way, we are working to improve the carbon efficiency of making a LEGO brick. We measure carbon efficiency by tonnes of carbon emitted divided by the weight of LEGO bricks produced.

In the first half of 2021, we improved our carbon efficiency by 3.7% and made great progress in projects that aim to drive our efficiency further. These include, for example, launching an intelligent energy management system at our factory site in Mexico and installing solar panels at our factory sites in Hungary and China.

Two LEGO critters drinking water with ice

Water efficiency

While water use is very low in the production of LEGO® bricks, we always strive to use it as efficiently as possible. We aim to reduce our water usage by 10% by the end of 2022 compared to a 2019 baseline. Our water consumption in 2021 was 8.8% lower than 2020, against a target of 5%. In terms of absolute consumption, the value for 2021 stood at 821,000 cubic meters.
LEGO critters standing next to a big zero

Zero waste to landfill

We are aiming for zero waste to landfill, which means that no waste from any LEGO® factory, office or owned and operated store will be landfilled by 2025.

During 2021, we reduced our landfilled waste by more than 70% compared to 2020, with 115 tonnes of waste going to landfill in the past year. This moves us close to our 2025 target. We continue to recycle above 90% of all waste, including 100% of the plastic waste from our molding machines.

Building sustainable businesses together

We can’t minimize the environmental impact of our operations alone. 90% of our carbon emissions come from our supply chain – suppliers that provide and deliver raw materials, machines, products and services related to LEGO® products. We collaborate closely with our suppliers to explore ways to reduce our collective carbon footprint. 80 of our suppliers have now committed to the CDP carbon disclosure system, up from 60 in 2020. We have an ambition to have all our most carbon-intense suppliers committed to CDP in 2022, and have begun working with targeted suppliers to introduce a shift to renewable electricity.

Our journey towards our environmental sustainability goals

By joining forces with children, our employees, experts and NGOs, we are making important progress towards our environmental sustainability ambitions and continue to build initiatives and partnerships.

Unfold the timeline below to review our journey and recent developments.

LEGO critters on a yellow background, working together

Joining forces for climate action and the green transition

In January 2021, we joined the European Commission’s new Green Consumption Pledge pilot initiative. By joining the pledge, we reinforced our commitment to lowering our carbon footprint and helping consumers make more sustainable choices.