World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

Children play with LEGO bricks

Climate Savers Q&A: LEGO Group shares their commitments

  • Date: 16 May 2018
  • Author: Andrew McMullen, LEGO Group’s Environmental Supply Chain Senior Manager

World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Savers is a program meant to aid businesses in becoming leaders of the low-carbon economy, inspiring companies to change how they think about climate solutions and develop businesses models that promote sustainability. As Climate Savers companies met this week in Washington, DC, Andrew McMullen, LEGO Group’s Environmental Supply Chain Senior Manager, shared insights into LEGO Group’s work with Climate Savers and why having a positive impact on the environment matters to the company.

Andrew McMullen, Lego

Why does LEGO Group care about reducing carbon emissions?

Our core purpose as a company is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. We believe that encouraging children’s creativity and imagination will give them skills to continue solving environmental issues in the future.

It is the LEGO Group’s commitment and ambition to “make a positive impact on the world our children will inherit.” We believe climate change is one of the biggest global challenges of our time. Our understanding of climate change is based on science, leading us to conclude global warming will initiate major changes to planet weather systems. We are also seeing reductions in snow and ice resulting in sea level rises, these changes are jeopardizing many species of life on earth.

We agree with the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), that human action has been the major contributor to most of the global warming over the past 100 years.

What climate goals has LEGO Group been focused on, and what are you doing to reach them?

We want to address climate change by reducing our emissions through a combination of reducing energy consumption and direct investments in renewable energy assets. We want to use resources responsibly and eliminate waste generation from production. This is to ensure we do not consume resources at a faster rate than they are regenerated, so that future generations can also benefit from the same variety of resources and materials our generation has access to.

Commitments from LEGO Group:

  • As a toy company, we are well placed to engage children on this topic, so we commit to highlighting the environment agenda with children through our platform.
  • We will continue to ensure 100 percent of energy consumption is balanced by production of renewable energy sources – a goal that was reached in 2017.
  • 90% of the company’s overall carbon impact takes place in the supply chain. We commit to collaborate with suppliers to reduce their carbon emission impacts across the process that delivers LEGO bricks into consumers’ homes.
  • We have given ourselves a target to use sustainable materials in all our core products (elements, packaging and building instructions) by 2030. We will engage with partners around the world (NGOs, Suppliers, Universities, Customers, Consumers, 3rd Parties) to get this right, we do not know all the answers, but we know this is an area where the LEGO group can have a significant impact.

How has working with World Wildlife Fund helped LEGO Group reach its climate goals?

The LEGO Group has been part of WWF’s Climate Savers program since 2013. We have met or exceeded all of our climate targets since the partnership began, and together with WWF we continue to set ambitious new targets to ensure a more sustainable way of producing LEGO bricks. WWF shared global best practice with us and challenges us to set the right climate targets for our company.

What actions would you like to see your industry adopt to curb climate change?

Industry is a major contributor to global warming, due to significant emissions of CO2. If we are going to be good corporate citizens, we need to act and find solutions to operate without emitting CO2 and other gasses with a high GWP. We encourage all businesses to commit to reducing their own environmental footprint. Industry should ensure climate change is addressed by suppliers, customers and consumers throughout the value chains in which they operate. Industry should also share data and best practice to speed up the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We believe the Paris Climate Agreement is a great start to ensuring the global community do what is needed to reduce global warming. We will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.

What advice do you have for companies just starting their climate journeys?

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Start with understanding what environmental impacts your business creates. Then you can start to focus on the low hanging fruit, benchmark yourself against similar organizations and define what targets are right for your organization. NGO’s and trade bodies are great sources of inspiration, we work with WWF, CDP and RE100 around climate change issues and they have been a great help. Also go and speak to the companies who are most vocal in this space, I have certainly reached out to many of them and they are happy to share what they have learned.