The LEGO Group’s CEO has confirmed that meeting the company’s sustainability goal whilst maintaining quality will be prioritised over profits.
Speaking after the publication of the LEGO Group’s latest financial results, CEO Niels B. Christiansen emphasised the company’s commitment to manufacturing all LEGO elements from sustainable materials by 2030. When asked whether that might hurt the bottom line, he couldn’t dispute it.
“It’s hard to say,” Christiansen told Bloomberg. “I’m not even sure that we currently yet can live up to the quality that we want. But it’s an agenda that we want to drive and an agenda that our owner is behind. We want to become a leader on this.”
The decision to move to sustainable materials was made by the LEGO Group’s owners, the Kirk Kristiansen family. Christiansen will not say that the change can avoid impacting the profitability of the company, but is aware that although the quality required might not yet have been reached, it will have to be by the 2030 date.
While the closure of Toys R Us has been blamed for a slight decline in US sales, more positive news from Europe has allowed the LEGO Group to paint the latest figures in a positive light after a difficult 2017.
“We have high quality products that offer a building experience as well as a playing experience and can be used for many, many years,” Christiansen said, going on to confirm that the LEGO Group will absorb the cost of sustainable materials. “Our prices are based on that rather than on whether the product is made from one thing or another.”
With all botanical elements as well as other flexible pieces now being manufactured using bioplastics, the LEGO Group has taken tentative first steps towards meeting the self-imposed sustainability goal. The new elements are being cycled into boxes of bricks as existing stocks run out.