The LEGO Group announced today the appointment of Annette Stube, currently serving as Head of Sustainability at Stora Enso, as its Chief Sustainability Officer. She will assume her new role at LEGO Group on January 1, 2024, reporting to CEO Niels B Christiansen.
In a separate announcement today, LEGO Group confirmed recent media reports that it has dropped its plans to produce bricks from rPET plastics from recycled bottles, one of its key projects aimed at shifting away from fossil-based plastics and reducing its carbon footprint.
In her new role, Stube will have responsibility for leading LEGO Group’s environmental sustainability vision and strategy, working with teams across the company to deliver on its sustainability plans and targets, in addition to supporting the company’s external environmental communications and engagement activity.
The appointment follows a series of commitments announced by LEGO Group last month, including a pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, work with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to develop emissions reduction targets covering Scope 1 and 2 emissions, as well as Scope 3 supply chain emissions, which account for 98% of the company’s carbon footprint, and to invest over $1.4 billion in environmental sustainability initiatives over the next three years.
“We are excited to have Annette join us to further advance our sustainability ambitions. Delivering on our Planet Promise is one of our most urgent and important challenges. While we have made significant progress over the past few years to reduce the impact our business has on the planet, we have much more to do.”
Stube joined pulp, paper and forest products company Stora Enso in 2020, and has been serving as Executive Vice President and Head of Sustainability. Prior to joining Stora Enso, Stube spent over 11 years at integrated container logistics company A.P. Moller-Maersk, serving as the company’s Head of Sustainability. She also worked as Director of Sustainability programs for global healthcare company Novo Nordisk.
“I am excited to join the LEGO Group and be part of the team helping to create a better environment for the benefit of future generations. There are very few companies who have children as their primary customers, which reminds us that the need for change is very real and urgent. It is encouraging to see the LEGO Group prioritise investments and resources against accelerating its sustainability ambitions and I am looking forward to playing my part to deliver those.”
One of LEGO Group’s sustainability strategy’s key focus areas includes initiatives to invest in sustainable materials research to reduce the carbon footprint of products and packaging. The company unveiled its first prototype bricks made from recycled plastic bottles in 2021, and stated that it would continue testing and developing the PET formulation of the new prototype brick, and then assess whether to move to the pilot production phase. The company announced today, however, that it has decided not to progress with the rPET bricks following two years of testing, after determining that it would not ultimately result in reduced carbon emissions.
In a statement announcing the decision, LEGO Group said:
“This is the nature of innovation – especially when it comes to something as complex and ambitious as our sustainable materials programme. Some things will work, others won’t.”
The company said that it is “more committed than ever to making our products and business more sustainable,” with a target to make its products from more sustainable and circular materials by 2032, adding that it has now tested more than 300 different materials. In a social media post, LEGO Group Vice President of Sustainability Tim Brooks noted that the company will triple its spending on sustainable materials to $400 million per year to 2025.
LEGO Group added:
“It’s a challenge we all share, and it’s something we know kids care about. We receive hundreds of letters from children each year with ideas of how we can be more sustainable. We want them to know we’re listening and trying hard.”