The Lego group is investing $150 million in new sustainable raw materials and packaging. Hayley Platt talks to the Danish firm’s CEO about the move and the toy maker’s recent growth.
When family-owned Lego started its business in 1932, carbon emissions weren't a consideration. Today of course they're of increasing importance. In a drive to boost its green credentials, the Danish toymaker is investing $150 million in a research centre for sustainable materials. It will employ around 100 specialists to help source cleaner materials which will eventually replace the current oil based raw material used for manufacturing its lego bricks." Jørgen Vig Knudstorp is the company's CEO. SOUNDBITE: Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO and President of the LEGO Group "We've always been a very responsible company. We've always invested heavily in windfarms to make sure we can be entirely based on renewable sources of energy. We've invested in better materials for our packaging forest, so we are constantly looking for ways to make ourselves more sustainable and this is another great step on that journey." The company is still owned by the Kristiansen family. It employs 14,000 staff, is sold in more than 140 countries and four months ago reported a 16% rise in operating profit. Not bad for a company which was facing almost collapse just a decade ago. SOUNDBITE: Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO and President of the LEGO Group "Right now we have launched LEGO Jurassic World related to the movie, that's a major blockbuster this weekend. We have LEGO MineCraft, LEGO Ninjargo, LEGO Elspeet, particularly relevant for girls." Lego's sustainable materials centre is scheduled to open later this year. There's no date yet for when it might replace its current bricks - but when it does they could well be greener.