Climeworks, LEGO Building a Cleaner Future

Closeup of jumbled one color blue lego bricks

by | Apr 2, 2024

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The LEGO Group has solidified a $2.4 million commitment with Climeworks, a leader in high-quality carbon removal. This collaboration underscores the toy manufacturing giant’s broader strategy to attain net-zero carbon emissions, leveraging innovative technology to combat climate change.

Pioneering Carbon Removal Efforts

The LEGO Group’s engagement with Climeworks, known for its Direct Air Capture and Storage (DAC+S) solution, marks a milestone in its extensive initiatives targeting net-zero carbon emissions. This strategic partnership aims to facilitate the permanent removal of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere, contributing significantly to Climeworks’ efforts in accelerating technology scale-up. KIRKBI, the family-owned holding and investment entity behind the LEGO brand, has also demonstrated its support through a $405,000 long-term agreement for Climeworks’ DAC+S carbon removal services.

Commitment to CO2 Reduction and Removal

The 9-year agreement between the LEGO Group and Climeworks, from 2023 to 2032, aligns with the urgent call for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies, as highlighted by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2023. The primary focus is on the enduring removal of CO2 from our planet’s atmosphere, a critical step towards the 2050 goal of net-zero carbon emissions. The LEGO Group remains steadfast in its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its factories, offices, stores, and supply chain, with a Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) approved target to cut absolute GHG emissions (Scope 1, 2, & 3) by 37% by 2032 from a 2019 baseline.

Driving Systemic Change

With environmental initiatives experiencing a 60% budget increase in 2023 compared to the previous year, the LEGO Group is on track to double its annual spending on such programs by 2025. Annette Stube, Chief Sustainability Officer at the LEGO Group, emphasized the importance of systemic change and the company’s role in spearheading innovative solutions alongside Climeworks to achieve a net-zero future, going on to say, “We were the first large toy company to announce a science-based emissions reduction target in 2020 and we want to continue to lead the way in finding innovative solutions for the challenges we face. This is why we are working with innovators like Climeworks – their technology, as part of a varied programme of initiatives, can help us and society as a whole realise the net-zero future that is needed to protect our planet for generations to come”.

The Orca and Mammoth Facilities

Climeworks has been at the forefront of DAC+S technology, opening the world’s first commercial plant, Orca, in Iceland in 2021 and announcing a second, even larger facility, Mammoth, to open in May 2024. These plants exemplify the scalable potential of direct air capture technology powered by renewable energy sources, such as Iceland’s Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant.

Sustainable Material Initiatives for LEGO Bricks

Parallel to its carbon reduction and removal efforts, the LEGO Group is also innovating in sustainable materials for its iconic bricks. The company is increasing its use of materials certified according to mass balance principles, with a significant portion of its resin purchases in 2023 derived from renewable sources. This move is part of a broader ambition to transition to renewable and recycled materials for LEGO products by 2032.

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