Responsibility signed by Lego focuses Children, Planet and Society, while in search of sustainable materials.
LEGO Group, one of world’s leading manufacturers of play materials, is focusing on three strategic responsibility areas, Children, Planet and Society, and made significant investments in programmes that address climate change and improve the sustainability of its operations.
CHILDREN: LEGO took steps to protect the rights of children around the world and support those in need. In partnership with UNICEF, it developed an industry-first Digital Child Safety Policy to create safe online play experiences for children. It also worked with UNICEF through an initiative called Partners in Play to provide learning opportunities to Syrian refugee children in Jordan.
PLANET: LEGO is on a mission to protect the planet through the power of play, and has joined forces with LEGO Batman, to engage children in important environmental and social issues. The Group ‘s digital campaign with a video starring LEGO® Batman (Will Arnett) and his butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes), discuss the contribution made by the LEGO Group to a range of social, environmental and playful learning activities around the world. The campaign is centred on a new digital platform, the Planet Crew, where children can join the LEGO Group to protect the planet for future generations, and share their views on the responsibility issues they feel are most important to children.
“This campaign is designed to engage with kids directly in a fun and creative dialogue. By teaming up with Batman, the hero of the widely acclaimed LEGO Batman movie, we hope to engage many children around the world and encourage them to join the LEGO Planet Crew. We look forward to hearing from children about what responsibility means to them, so we can ensure to continue making the most positive impact on the planet for children and society.” Tim Brooks, Vice President of Environmental Responsibility LEGO
Planet: Through its parent company KIRKBI A/S, the LEGO Group has invested DKK 6 billion in renewable energy, and the investment in 2016 in the Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom puts the Group on track to achieve its goal of balancing 100 percent of its global energy consumption with energy produced by its own renewable sources by 2020. In 2016, 90 per cent of energy was balanced, and the company is on track to achieve its goal three years ahead of schedule.
SOCIETY: Interesting read is Emily O’Dowd (Bio-Based Worldnews) interview with Tim Brooks , offering an insight into LEGO’s latest bio-based initiatives and what consumers can expect in the coming years: here a few paragraphs:
“In 2012, LEGO decided to change tact and reconsider their plastic consumption. This has led to an ambitious re-think about the materials used for their products. Now the company are committed to use only sustainable materials in its products by 2030 and in 2016, produced prototype elements made from sustainably sourced plastic derived from wheat.”
“Tim emphasises that his main aim working at LEGO is to prioritise and invest in the most valuable way to engage with society. “As a company with such strong values and heritage it has naturally led us to progress with environmental factors because we feel it’s the right thing to do. For many years we have focused on our own operations, which is still a very core focus of the business, but it only makes up 10 percent of our overall CO2 emissions and global footprint. By contrast, 75 percent of our environmental impact is caused throughout our supply chain.” He stresses that “it is important that we balance these two aspects and act where we have greatest leverage as well as the greatest impact.”
In order to improve consumer perceptions towards plastic consumption, LEGO are keen to focus on innovation and make it an aspect of their business that all consumers will be able to buy into. “We don’t want to make it an either or situation”, they want people to be influenced by the better performance and identical pricing so that sustainability becomes the only option for consumers. In various tests, LEGO have learnt that younger children are an easier audience to engage with about sustainability concerns. “I guess the obvious answer would be to sell wind turbine sets and recycling trucks, but at the end of the day kids just want to play rather than being forced to play something. You can’t rebuild the message into a toy, however there are other ways to do it. We try to create a toy that kids love and can be creative with – rather than using it as a tool to educate them with. It’s about finding smarter ways to spread this message.”
For over 50 years, LEGO elements have been moulded using the highest quality plastics which are some of the most durable, safe and functional materials available in order to provide the best play experiences for millions of children around the world. Yet, the oil-based plastic used in LEGO elements is not a long term solution for the planet. Therefore, by 2030, their ambition is that products will be made of plastic sourced from sustainable sources.
“I think the biggest challenge is finding materials that are better and sustainable. Whilst there are plenty of bio-based solutions, they don’t always provide a better performance or deliver the quality that we need. That’s an ongoing challenge, but definitely an exciting one. We need to find those new materials or innovative ways of making things.”
Vice President for Materials and the Sustainable Materials Centre, Nelleke van der Puil, explains: “We are on a journey towards a more sustainable materials platform, and we need to find replacements for more than 20 different types of plastic. The journey ahead of us is unknown – we approach it with an open mind and do not exclude any route towards more sustainable materials.
Review LEGO Group 2016 Responsibility Report.
Source: Lego- Bio-Based Worldnews