LEGO building Carbon-Neutral Manufacturing plant in Virginia

June 21, 2022
LEGO plans to match its energy use at the plant with an on-site solar park. The facilities also will be designed with state-of-the-art energy efficiency technologies

The LEGO Group isn’t toying around with the challenge of cutting greenhouse gas emissions; it’s building a path to the energy transition now.

The international play blocks company announced it is building a new carbon-neutral production plant in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The 1.7-million square foot site will employ more than 1,700 people and cost close to $1 billion to build.

LEGO plans to match its energy use at the plant with an on-site solar park. The facilities also will be designed with state-of-the-art energy efficiency technologies and building components.

“This is an exciting step for the LEGO Group. More and more families are falling in love with LEGO building and we are looking forward to making LEGO bricks in the U.S.,” Niels B. Christiansen, LEGO Group CEO, said. “The location in Virginia allows us to build a solar park which supports our sustainability ambitions and provides easy links to country-wide transportation networks.”

Construction on the Virginia manufacturing plant will begin in the fall with completion and production expected in the second half of 2025. LEGO will set up a temporary packaging site in an existing building nearby in 2024.

The new production plant will be the company’s seventh factory globally and second in the Americas, with the other in Monterrey, Mexico. LEGO, with its popularity buoyed by recent successful films, plans for the U.S. plant to shorten its supply chain and improve its emissions profile.

“Our factories are located close to our biggest markets which shortens the distance our products have to travel,” LEGO Chief Operations Officer Carsten Rasmussen said. “This allows us to rapidly respond to changing consumer demand and helps manage our carbon footprint.”

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The new factory will implement its latest precision technologies to mould, process and pack LEGO products.

“Our bricks are made to last for generations, so we need skilled employees trained to work with precision moulding technology,” Rasmussen added. “We look forward to working with the Virginia Talent Accelerator program to help build a great team who are motivated by our mission to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.”

LEGO was created in 1932 by Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen. Current CEO Niels Christiansen is no relation to the founder and led energy and equipment technology firm Danfoss before taking over LEGO in 2017.

The toy building block company is based in Billund, Denmark, and has a U.S. headquarters in Connecticut. LEGOs also has about 100 branded stores in the U.S.

Earlier this year, LEGO announced plans to nearly triple the size of its digital team and accelerate its digital transformation to become more efficient.

Revenue and consumer sales both increase more than 20 percent last year compared to fiscal 2019 (last pre-pandemic results). Overall revenue topped $6.1 billion U.S. (43B Danish kroner), according to reports.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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