Danish toy giant LEGO is phasing out petroleum-based plastic bricks in search of an environmentally friendly alternative. The company is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to research, development and implementation of new, sustainable, raw materials to manufacture sustainable LEGO elements and packaging.
The Scandinavian company hopes to make a full transition to green materials by 2030, which is relatively ambitious, considering the 60 billion blocks LEGO produces each year.
Although the company has endeavored to offset the energy used in their factories, most of LEGO’s carbon footprint comes from the extraction of and refinement of crude oil used in its plastic bricks. They’ve realized that any legitimate effort in becoming environmentally sustainable must start at a more fundamental level—the building blocks.
LEGO is spending $150 million on their new Sustainable Materials Center where they will collaborate and develop partnerships with stakeholders and scientists. The new sustainability center is expected to be built by 2016 and employ approximately 100 materials experts.
The LEGO group has reassured customers that they are doing serious long-term research and development of new materials so as not to compromise the quality or safety standard expected by parents.