Recycled materialsIn June 2021, we revealed our first prototype brick made from a recycled material. This prototype, made from recycled PET plastic bottles, marks an important step on our sustainable materials journey. It’s the culmination three years’ hard work from a team of more than 150 experts who have tested over 250 variations of PET materials.
Bio-based materialsWe have also worked to expand the range of bio-based LEGO® elements made from bio-polyethylene (bio-PE), a soft, durable and flexible plastic derived from sugarcane. There are currently around 150 elements made from bio-PE (e.g. LEGO plant elements and LEGO minifigure accessories) and nearly half of our sets are designed to contain at least one of these elements.
Bags in LEGO® boxes
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.