In the United States, the tragic death of George Floyd and subsequent protests highlighted the issue of social injustice. Since this impacts children, we announced a donation of US$4 million to charities that support Black children, and educate all children about racism and social justice. A taskforce of diverse colleagues is overseeing the distribution of the donation.
This donation is just one of many supported by the LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group. Since December 2018, more than US$250 million has been donated to support children in need to develop via learning through play.
Most of our employee volunteering activities are held in Q3 and Q4 to coincide with seasonal events.
In first half of 289 employees participated in volunteering activities. COVID-19 prevented previously planned face-to-face activities and instead, we engaged employees from across the company in creating content for our Let’s Build Together initiative, as well as exploring ways to volunteer digitally.
Digital child safety and wellbeing has become immensely important in this time of crisis, when more children than ever are at home and online. In July, we launched Small Builds for Big Conversations, a series of creative challenges which offer parents and their kids an enjoyable, guided way of engaging in conversations about being a responsible digital citizen, and the importance of online safety.
This initiative has reached more than 20 million users so far.
Every employee received a LEGO® Classic box with an invitation to join us for the Virtual Play Week – five days of live and recorded sessions on the endless creativity, challenges and potential that can be unlocked through play. An invitation to join the event was shared with Merlin Entertainments, which owns the LEGOLAND theme parks, and partner organizations that share our belief in Learning Through Play, such as UNICEF, Right to Play and institute for imagination.
More than 5,700 colleagues and partners from across the globe played along during the week. This new way of
celebrating play has encouraged us to keep on playing, both virtually and physically.
By 2025, our ambition is to ensure no waste from any LEGO® factory, office or store reaches landfill. We currently recycle 91% of all waste, including 100% of the plastic waste from our moulding machines. We have ambitious plans for 2020, however new projects planned in Q1 and Q2 have been postponed to Q3 and Q4, due to the impact of COVID-19 on production facilities.
With 7,327 tonnes of waste in first half of 2020, waste efficiency improvement has increased by 22% compared to the same period in 2019. The target for 2020 is a 2% reduction in waste volumes compared to 2019. We expect to produce a similar amount of waste in 2020 as in 2019. The large reduction in the first half of 2020 was due to the temporary closure of factories in China and Mexico, due to the impact of COVID-19.