The LEGO Group has begun exploring multiple potential investments in its global headquarters in Billund, Denmark, where the company was founded in 1932. More than 4,000 LEGO® employees work in Denmark, spanning product development, marketing, manufacturing, engineering, quality and various other functions. In recent years, the number of employees in Billund has grown significantly – in 2015 alone by more than 250.
“Billund is a truly global headquarter with more than 35 nationalities represented today. As we have continued to bring LEGO play into the hands of more and more children all over the world in recent years, we have also welcomed thousands of new LEGO employees at LEGO sites globally and hundreds of new employees in our headquarters. In 2015, we announced significant investments in our manufacturing sites in Mexico and Hungary and we have opened global main offices around the world from London to Singapore, ” says Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, President & Chief Executive Officer, the LEGO Group, adding:
“The plans for potential investments in Denmark we share today send a clear signal that we continue to see Billund as the heart of our company, and the plans are inspired by and support the long term vision of the Billund Municipality for the development of the city of Billund.”
Specific plans, investigation and long-term opportunities
The potential LEGO Group investments in Billund cover a range of activities that are to take place in the coming five to ten years, when and if the specific needs arise.
Specific plans are under development for:
• A new distinctive building complex in the centre of Billund, which will function as the workplace for LEGO employees. An important part of this will be “LEGO People House” with activities and facilities for all employees based in Billund and globally.
• Establishment of a Sustainable Materials Centre – a 4,500 m2 research facility working to find more sustainable raw materials for LEGO products.
• Temporary offices to house several hundred employees in Billund.
In addition, the LEGO Group is investigating the potential of:
• Constructing one or more office buildings located near the LEGO factory in Billund.
• Constructing test-facilities for development and testing of new production technologies in connection with the new offices.
Looking further into the future, it is being explored how a potential expansion of the LEGO factory in Billund could take place. At this time, there are no actual plans for expanding the factory, and a potential investment depends on the development in global demand as well as the general LEGO Group investments in production capacity in the future.
Integrated employee house for all LEGO employees
Neither the size, nor the design and look of the building complex in the centre of Billund is final. The building complex will be the workplace for a broad range of LEGO employees, and the plan is that the outside areas could feature recreational areas, playgrounds and a park open to employees and visitors as well as the citizens and children of Billund, linking the town centre to other activities in Billund.
An integral part of the building complex will be the “LEGO People House”, a place for employees. LEGO People House will feature – among other things - a fitness centre, health care, staff shop, small apartments, sports facilities, facilities for social activities, workshops and other activities meant for all LEGO employees.
“In LEGO People House we wish to create a unique social environment that will act as a vibrant gathering point for colleagues in Billund and colleagues visiting Billund from the rest of the world. It will be a place with unique facilities, where employees can be physically active and socialise both during and outside working hours,” says Claus Flyger Pejstrup, Senior Vice President, member of Corporate Management and responsible for the LEGO Group Headquarters in Denmark, adding:
“At this time we can’t share further information about the plans for the building complex, but we look forward to sharing more during the year. With the building complex and the LEGO People House we can offer current as well as new employees an exciting and inspiring physical work environment, which will also enable us to support our local and global growth in the longer term. Ultimately this will support our ambition to bring creative play experiences to more children all over the world.”
Sustainable Materials Centre focusing on partnerships
In June 2015, the LEGO Group announced an investment of DKK 1 billion to find and implement sustainable materials to manufacture LEGO products, as well as establish a Sustainable Materials Centre. Since then more than 50 employees have been hired to work on the task, and today it is announced that the LEGO Group plans to locate the centre close to the current LEGO factory in Billund.
In 2019, when the centre opens, it will feature approximately 4,500 m2 of laboratories, research facilities, collaborative spaces, and areas open to the public – such as school classes, universities and external partners and suppliers.
“I am particularly excited that the building will be designed to foster collaboration with external partners, as it is in these interactions and relationships between our teams and partners that the work on this agenda is driven – not the physical building housing the centre. So while we have to wait a few years for the actual building to materialise, our work to find more sustainable materials, which deliver on our demands for safety, quality and durability has already begun - and we are moving ahead at full speed,” says Tim Guy Brooks, Vice President, Environmental Responsibility.