Paging President Business! LEGO has got some policy changes headed your way. In an effort to be more environmentally conscious, The LEGO Group recently announced they are looking to replace the plastic in their little building blocks of joy with sustainable material by the year 2030. The price of this eco-friendly venture of theirs? A cool $150 million. Those millions of dollars are going to be invested in research, development and implementation of raw, sustainable materials (which LEGO declined to specify) to manufacture their product and packaging.
As the world’s largest toy company, LEGO can certainly afford that price tag and the 100 specialists their Sustainable Materials Centre in Denmark plans to hire in their efforts to be greener and save the planet. Since 1963, LEGO pieces have been made out of a thick, dense plastic called acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, which is nowhere near as sexy as “sustainable materials.” The company goes through 6,000 tons of plastic a year to build those pesky sets that eventually just end up scattered in pieces all around your house, so a welcome change is definitely in order.
“This is a major step for the LEGO Group on our way towards achieving our 2030 ambition on sustainable materials,” Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO and President of the LEGO Group, said. “We have already taken important steps to reduce our carbon footprint and leave a positive impact on the planet by reducing the packaging size, by introducing FSC certified packaging and through our investment in an offshore wind farm. Now we are accelerating our focus on materials.”
In 2014, the company produced more than 60 billion LEGO pieces, and due to the propensity of their misplacement, LEGO’s mission to make the pieces sustainable is a rare case of a major company fine-tuning its product in the name of environmental responsibility and accountability. Supplementing the plastic materials in LEGO’s pieces with sustainable material will have a tremendous effect on the company’s carbon footprint. For comparison purposes, only 10% of LEGO’s carbon emissions are produced from its factories. The remaining 90% comes from the extraction and refinement of the materials being used to make the product, as well as the transportation of the products from factories to your local toy outlet.
With an eye toward drastically reducing and soothing over its own carbon footprint, there’s no word yet on whether LEGO’s new sustainable pieces will be able to cure your gnarled footprint after stepping on one of those jagged pieces barefoot.