We are committed to playing our part in building a sustainable future and making a positive impact on the planet our children will inherit.
We want to make our materials and packaging more sustainable, reduce the carbon footprint of bringing a LEGO® product to market, and limit our use of resources.
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We are proud of the progress we have made on our sustainability journey this far. It’s a long and ambitious path with no building instructions to guide us, and we know there is more work to be done on all fronts.
Based on our learnings and the changing external context, we see an opportunity to evolve our environmental sustainability strategy and action plan towards 2032, when we will celebrate our 100th anniversary.
Experimentingwith new materials and innovating to create more sustainable products and packaging.
Committingto meeting our approved science-based target by 2032.
Expandingour focus on circularity. By taking a more holistic approach, we can better reimagine every stage in the life of a LEGO® brick – from production through play to repurposing.
Science-based CO2 target
We aim to reduce our carbon (CO2) emissions from making and selling LEGO® bricks across our factories, offices and stores, as well as our supply chain.
Our approved science-based target commits us to reducing our absolute CO2 emissions by 37 percent by 2032, compared to 2019. An absolute target means that we’re reducing the total amount of emissions being emitted.
Reducing CO2 in our operations
In our factories:We are prioritizing energy efficiency initiatives when producing LEGO® bricks. This means investing in new machinery, installing smart systems, changing lighting systems and optimizing cooling and ventilation systems at our sites.
Adding more renewables:We are investing in renewable energy sources to power our factories. Since 2021, we have doubled solar power capacity to now have installed >14 MW of solar power, equivalent to 4.3 percent of the LEGO Groups annual electricity consumption globally. At our new factories in Vietnam and the U.S., we will install solar panels on roofs where possible and/or build solar parks with local partners.
Setting our standards high:
When we plan and construct new buildings, we aim to meet high environmental building standards. For example, the new LEGO® Campus in Billund has Gold level LEED certification, something both of our new factories in Vietnam and the U.S. will also have. They will also be designed to be run carbon-neutral*. And our newly announced Kornmarken Campus is committed to be built by the standard of LEED Platinum certification.
*A factory or operational site that can demonstrate net-zero emissions from electricity and fuel use (scope 1 + 2) through the use of onsite or offsite renewable energy.
New decision-making tools:In 2022, we introduced a financial tool called a shadow carbon price, which will encourage more investments in low-carbon projects.
Historically, we have scored within the leadership bracket of companies reporting their sustainability actions (either an A or A-). In 2022, our CDP Climate Change score has been changed to a C. Many factors go into this, but part of the reason is that our emissions have gone up in the short term due to a high demand for our products and a subsequent growth in production and sales of our products. At the same time, the CDP’s scoring methodology became more stringent in 2022.
We are focused and have a strong plan in place to return to our previous performance and rating by the CDP. We are currently assessing the measures needed on our end to support this.
Building sustainable businesses together
98 percent of our total carbon emissions come from outside our own operations – from suppliers that provide and deliver raw materials, machines, products and services related to LEGO® products.
Since 2014, we have worked with our suppliers and partners through the Engage-to-Reduce program. During 2022, the program engaged with 138 suppliers, up from 80 in 2021. The 138 suppliers account for 68 percent of our total Scope 3 emissions.
In 2023, we plan to increase the scope of the program to reach even more suppliers.
Renewable electricity initiative
One of the many ways we work with these suppliers to lower their emissions is through our Renewable Electricity Initiative targeting our high-impact supply base.
To date, 33 percent of the 138 suppliers engaged are reporting that they are using 100 percent renewable electricity, and a further 53 percent have a plan in place to move to 100 percent renewable electricity.
Zero waste to landfill
Removing all single-use plastic from our operationsWe had initially aimed to remove all single-use plastic from our operations by the end of 2022. We have been making great progress on this, but COVID-19 and supply chain strains have had an impact. In some areas of our operations, it has been harder than expected to entirely remove the use of single-use plastic, such as wrapping for safe transportation and plastic pallets (due to scarcity of wooden pallets). We’ve learned that some solutions are not yet in place or ready to scale. We are identifying where single-use plastic is still necessary and working closely with our suppliers to accelerate implementable solutions.
We are focusing on both water efficiency and absolute reduction to better account for our environmental impact in this area.
Our water efficiency improved during 2022, but we were using more water overall because of our business growth.
In 2022, we improved our water reduction efficiency – or the amount of water used per produced LEGO® element – by 4.9 percent.
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 re-used.
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.
We believe our bricks have endless play value. Keeping bricks in play has been at the heart of our LEGO® Replay program. Since the launch of LEGO Replay in 2019 in the U.S., and in 2020 in Canada, over 740,000 lbs (335,000 kg ) of LEGO pieces have been donated, resulting in more than 224,000 children playing with LEGO Replay bricks. In 2022, we have kept more than 66 million bricks in play through this program.
To expand the reach of LEGO Replay in North America, we continued our partnership with First Book in the U.S., donating over 18,000 PlayBoxes to classrooms, which reached over 44,000 children.
At the LEGO Group, we have a commitment to make LEGO® bricks from more sustainable sources. We are doing a lot to innovate existing and new materials, which must meet our exceptionally strict quality and safety standards.
We presented a prototype brick made from recycled PET in 2021. Next to other material innovation and research streams, we continue to work on recycled PET like adding colors and working on element shapes and molding development to make sure it performs and adheres to our standards before it can be introduced into LEGO sets.Read more
Mass balance materials
In 2021, the LEGO Group began to purchase sustainable materials based on the mass balance principle. Mass balance is a model used by some suppliers that will increase the amount of renewable and recycled input in our source materials. Our suppliers mix input from virgin fossil sources with certified renewable and recycled sources, to produce the material used to make LEGO® products.
This approach is part of our aim to drive the sustainable materials industry forward.
Expanding our range of bio-based elements
We continue to expand the range of bio-based LEGO® elements made from Brazilian sugarcane to create bio-polyethylene (bio-PE), a soft, durable and flexible plastic. There are currently almost 200 elements like LEGO plant elements and minifigure accessories made from bio-PE, in more than half of our boxes.
We also make sure that the sugarcane used to make these elements grows at the same rate as we use it, is sourced sustainably using guidance from our partner WWF and doesn’t compromise food security.
Bags in LEGO® boxesDuring 2021, we completed a successful pilot project to test paper-based bags. This year, we have started rolling out sets with paper-based bags certified by the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™ C117818) as part of our sustainable packaging strategy. More sets with paper-based bags will gradually become available to fans in Europe in 2023 as our roll-out continues. Expansion to other markets is planned for 2024 and 2025.
Baseplate packagingSince the first half of 2022, our baseplates have been gradually transitioning towards replacing the previous single-use plastic wrapping with a more sustainable paper-based version packaging made with paper from Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™ C117818) certified forests and FSC™-controlled wood.
E-commerce packagingWe 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, to reduce packaging waste and improve recyclability. Shoppers ordering from LEGO.com in Europe and the U.S. will receive a shipping package that uses recyclable paper padding certified by the FSC™.
Licensed productsOur licensing partners are working hard to make the packaging of our licensed products more sustainable. For instance, during 2022, we started replacing foil wrappers for LEGO trading cards and magazines with paper-based packaging. We will continue to redesign more packaging in the licensing line to increase our use of paper-based solutions and find opportunities to eliminate unnecessary packaging all 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.