LEGO Going Green With its $1B+ Carbon-Neutral Toy Factory in Virginia
LEGO’s carbon-neutral toy factory will spread across 1.7 million square feet and meet its energy needs using renewable energy produced by an onsite solar park
Denmark-based toy giant the LEGO Group has unveiled the plans to open its new $1 billion carbon-neutral factory. This new toy factory will spread over a 1.7 million square feet area in Chesterfield County, Virginia, US. The company is planning to start its construction in the fall of 2022 and the production will most probably begin in the second half of 2025. On completion, this factory will employ over 1,760 people over 10 years.
Since this new factory will be carbon-neutral, it will meet its 100 percent energy needs from renewable energy sources. Renewable energy would generate from an onsite solar park. Furthermore, the site also aims to reduce energy consumption, as well as the usage of non-renewable materials.
LEGO’s Green Initiative
According to the company, this green initiative aims to shorten its supply chain while supporting the expansion of its manufacturing network across the region. The entire LEGO Group is excited for this step as more and more families are adoring the LEGO building. Therefore, the company is looking forward to making Lego bricks in the US, which is one of its largest markets.
With the construction of the solar park in Virginia, the company can support its sustainable ambitions. It will also offer them easy connectivity to almost all transportation networks in the country. Meanwhile, it provides great employment opportunities to people residing in Virginia.
In 2006, LEGO stopped its U.S. production at its Enfield Conn. facility and shifted the production to Mexico. During that time, the company said the reason for the shutdown was lagging sales due to kids preferring electronic toys over LEGO.
However, the toy market has come full circle. Now, parents are struggling to keep their kids off electronic toys and devices for a long duration. This helped in the booming of toy firms like LEGO. Furthermore, LEGO is also planning to expand to a North American market from its manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Mexico. This will help the company to support its long-term growth in America. Their efforts are also expanding to China and Europe with carbon-neutral production facilities.
Last June, LEGO unveiled its first bricks made using recycled plastic. The company made those bricks using PET plastic using discarded bottles while meeting the company’s standard safety and quality requirements.
According to LEGO, more than 150 people from their firm are working on looking for more sustainable solutions for manufacturing. The biggest challenge for them in this sustainability journey is to rethink and create innovative materials. They want their new materials to be strong, durable, and high-quality as the existing bricks.
The company also has plans for investing around $400 million over three years for improving its social responsibility and sustainability initiatives. This investment is likely to cover both ongoing costs and long-term investments.LEGO has also started a pilot program in the United States. With this initiative, they can attain their goal of balancing 100 percent of the energy use from renewable sources.