LEGO and Climeworks $2.3M Carbon Capture Deal Accelerates Race to Net Zero by 2050

April 6, 2024
3 mins read
A snow-covered ski resort with a wintry scene of mountains and ski runs. The view shows a chilly, wintry landscape with clouds in the sky.(Source: prowlypro)
LEGO & Climeworks unite for a $2.3M eco-leap!

LEGO’s Ambitious Climate Strategy with Climeworks Partnership

A new deal with the carbon capture and storage company Climeworks, valued at 2.31 million USD over the next nine years, is an important step in the LEGO Group’s efforts to live up to its ambition of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Carbon capture and storage is one of several methods that can be used by companies for carbon compensation or offsetting. The entire offsetting field is somewhat the black sheep of climate work. Widespread uncertainty about the quality of existing projects plays a role in this situation, but the central criticism is that offsetting should never be put in place of reduction work and transition.

LEGO’s Strategic Emissions Reduction Plan

The need for the use of offsetting is recognized by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). And as recently as 2023, the UN’s climate panel (IPCC) declared that the goal of achieving net-negative CO2 emissions could not be achieved without the use of carbon capture and storage, including direct air capture of CO2. This makes the use of such projects for offsetting a question of the quality of the projects, rather than an either-or question.

The primary task of companies will still be to reduce their emissions. This is also confirmed by LEGO in its press release, where it states that the carbon capture agreement is just one of a series of initiatives that will help the company achieve its goal of net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

The agreement with Climeworks will cover those parts of LEGO’s emissions that cannot immediately be optimized and reduced.

According to the press release, LEGO’s main priority remains to reduce the impact of factories, offices, and stores as well as the supply chain. The company has an SBTi-approved goal to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1, 2, and 3) by 37% by 2032 (with a 2019 baseline), focusing on the use of energy from renewable sources, energy efficiency, and collaboration with suppliers to lower their carbon footprint. The latter is particularly important, as 98% of the company’s emissions are in Scope 3.

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Innovative Carbon Capture with Climeworks

Climeworks works with capturing CO2 directly from the air and storing it deep underground. Their technology draws air into collection containers, where CO2 is captured through a filter. The collected CO₂ is then stored deep underground by Climeworks’ storage partner Carbfix, where it is injected deep into the ground and transformed into stone through an accelerated natural process. The filtered air is released back into the atmosphere.

Climeworks’ facility, Orca, located in Iceland, was the world’s first and largest commercial plant at its opening. The next and larger facility is expected to open in May 2024, also in Iceland. The facilities are powered by energy produced using geothermal processes.

LEGO is also continuing to find solutions to produce their products from more sustainable materials than the oil-based plastic the bricks are made of now.

LEGO’s Financial Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

In 2023, LEGO increased spending on environmental initiatives by 60 percent compared to 2022, and by 2025, the company plans to have doubled the annual expenses compared to 2023. The funds will be used both to reduce emissions from the manufacture and sale of LEGO® bricks, and to invest in innovations outside the company’s value chain to accelerate progress.

A clear motive for LEGO in the deal with Climeworks is also to help them gain extra momentum in scaling their solutions for carbon capture and storage.

Fostering Systemic Changes for a Sustainable Future

“We want children to inherit a healthy planet – and we are determined to play our role in making it happen. To succeed, we must do something to create systemic changes,” says Annette Stube, Chief Sustainability Officer at the LEGO Group.

“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,” she continues.

“We’re proud to partner with a sustainability leader like the LEGO Group who takes bold steps to make net zero happen. We see demand growing across diverse sectors, including consumer goods, which shows that carbon removal rightly has a place in every company’s net zero strategy,” commented Jan Huckfeldt, Chief Commercial Officer at Climeworks.

KIRKBI, the family-owned holding and investment company under the LEGO® brand, has also signed a long-term agreement valued at approximately 392,000 USD with Climeworks.

Rahul Somvanshi

Rahul, possessing a profound background in the creative industry, illuminates the unspoken, often confronting revelations and unpleasant subjects, navigating their complexities with a discerning eye. He perpetually questions, explores, and unveils the multifaceted impacts of change and transformation in our global landscape. As an experienced filmmaker and writer, he intricately delves into the realms of sustainability, design, flora and fauna, health, science and technology, mobility, and space, ceaselessly investigating the practical applications and transformative potentials of burgeoning developments.

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