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SILC 2020: LEGO outlines its sustainable goals

The company’s Sine Klitgaard Møller and Tim Brooks address the importance of change in the toy sector and how LEGO is acting now.

“We know that in order to develop the builds of tomorrow, it’s important to equip children with the necessary 21st century skills that they need to build a sustainable future… and we also know that in doing that, they expect us to play our part.”

So explained Tim Brooks, vp of environmental sustainability at The LEGO Group, to the assembled delegates at the first day of the Sustainability in Licensing Conference, which was held earlier today (November 24).

During the session, Tim explained that LEGO is investing $400 million over the next three years in sustainability and social responsibility initiatives, closely aligned to two of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

There are three focus areas in the strategy:

Children – underpinned by the company’s desire to put children first. Tim explained that the company received many letters from children, sharing the changes they would like and expect to see.

Environment – “we want to run a zero impact company and have a positive impact overall including our learning through play agenda” explained Tim.

People – “we want to treat everybody who is involved in making a LEGO play experience fairly and in the right way”.

Two key goals have been set – (1) to have sustainable packaging in all its products by 2025 (including eliminating single use plastic in packaging) and (2) to have sustainable materials in all products by 2030.

Some of the initiatives that LEGO is working on include zero waste to landfill by 2025; working towards a circular economy; plus the launch of LEGO Replay in at least three countries (a scheme which gives bricks to children in need of play). In addition, it has also been playing with paper packaging and consumers will start to see these coming through in 2021.

Sine Klitgaard Møller, licensing sustainability transformation lead at LEGO, then explained that “the LEGO licensing business is adopting the corporate ambitions fully”, telling delegates the company is “joining forces with external partners to pilot new sustainable solutions, research and build knowledge within our organisation”.

The focus on education and packaging started in 2019 and should be complete by 2025, while the extra road now is looking at products and materials with new requirements and new learnings.

“We also hope that we will get to 2030 and see a clear path to a planet that is more in balance with consumption,” said Sine.

LEGO is sharing tools which it has created to educate itself with licensed partners and trying to make them as simple as possible. It has also created a special partner site to share tools and will be collating newsletters including details of what inspires the sustainability team.

“We would like to use our inherent playful approach to this very complicated task of sustainability transformation,” said Sine. “We want to show children who want us to do something now that we are truly listening and taking action.”

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