Lego to Work with Suppliers On Reducing Carbon Emissions

The air may be getting cleaner in Legoland.

The Lego Group, in partnership with the WWF environmental organization, has agreed to work with suppliers on cutting carbon emissions from its supply chain.

The Danish toy maker said it would join the WWF’s Climate Savers Program and, next year, start test projects with suppliers to find carbon emissions-reducing solutions.

The manufacture of Lego bricks and sets at company factories generates only one-tenth of the carbon emissions related to Lego products, according to the maker of iconic building toys.

The privately owned Lego Group also said it will work on improving the environmental impact of materials with a strategy that could include using fewer materials, focusing on recyclability and using recycled materials.

The company promised that by 2016, it would trim by 10 percent the energy used to produce one metric ton of toy elements compared with 2012, and that it would produce more renewable energy than it uses, making Lego more than 100 percent renewable by that time.

“We have experienced strong growth for eight consecutive years and, as we grow, we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact we leave on the planet,” Lego Group CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp said. “Partnering with WWF is an important step in our efforts to get the best out of our sustainability initiatives. We are proud to contribute to WWF’s overall vision of 100% renewable energy by 2050 and already now they have played a part in the targets we have set – and how we can achieve them.”

Reducing emissions directly related to Lego factories’ production by the targeted 10 percent would remove about 10 metric tons of carbon emissions, according to the toy maker and WWF. Ninety percent of Lego-related emissions, however, originate not at company factories but from supply chain activities such as raw-material extraction and refining, indirect procurement, distribution from factory to retailers, and consumers’ disposal of old Lego toys.

“If we are able to inspire and enable our supply chain to also achieve a reduction in their production at a similar level, the total emissions would be reduced by 100,000 (metric tons). Such a reduction would be equivalent to taking approximately 28,000 cars off the streets,” Robbert Stecher, Lego Group’s senior vice president for corporate affairs, said.

“We feel that it is natural to engage in a closer dialogue with our suppliers so that, together, we can join forces to reduce the carbon emissions and collaborate on a common goal of making a positive impact on the environment and society at large,” he said.

Companies in WWF’s Climate Savers Program agree to cut CO2 emissions in accordance with a target defined by WWF, each company and independent technical experts, WWF said.