he LEGO Group today celebrated breaking ground at its new US $1 billion factory in the Binh Duong Province in Vietnam, bordering Ho Chi Minh City to the South. This is the largest investment by any Danish company in Vietnam and part of the company’s strategy to expand its supply chain network to support long-term growth and locate production facilities close to its major markets.
The groundbreaking event was attended by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and His Excellency, Standing Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Binh Minh, LEGO Group Chief Executive Officer Niels B. Christiansen, LEGO Group Chief Operations Officer Carsten Rasmussen, national and provincial officials, as well as business and community partners.
Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group said: “Today marks a significant milestone for us as we celebrate breaking ground at what will be our sixth factory globally and first carbon-neutral run facility. Not only will it allow us to reach even more children with learning through play and create long-term growth in the Asia-Pacific region, but it will also enable us to quickly adapt and respond to shifts in consumer demand.”
“We are grateful for all the support we have received to realise our manufacturing ambitions and look forward to working with authorities and partners to build our factory and have a positive impact on the local economy and community.”
Inclusive workplace for technology & innovation jobs
The 44-hectare site, the size of 62 football pitches, will use state-of-the-art technology to mould, process and pack LEGO® products. Production is set to start in 2024 with skilled local employees trained to operate high-tech equipment that ensures each brick is made to the accuracy of 1/10th of a hair’s width. The factory will employ 4,000 people over the next 15 years.
The LEGO Group is committed to providing diverse and inclusive workplaces where everyone feels welcome, and the new factory will be no different. It will feature wellness and prayer rooms, braille wayfinding signs and be accessible for wheelchair users.
Most sustainable factory to date
The factory is designed to be the LEGO Group’s first carbon-neutral run facility – and most sustainable to date. It will feature rooftop solar panels and a solar farm will be built on a neighbouring plot of land, which combined will match the total annual energy requirement of the site.
It will also use the latest energy-efficient production equipment and will be constructed to meet a minimum standard of LEED Gold – a globally recognised green building certification. These efforts will contribute to the company’s target of reducing its absolute carbon emissions by 37 percent by 2032 (compared to 2019).
Factory design inspired by children’s creativity
Guided by the belief that children are the LEGO Group’s role models, aspects of the factory’s design will be inspired by ideas from local kids. Over 40 children from Hoi Nghia Primary School participated in a ‘Build the Change’ workshop where they used LEGO bricks to create ideas for the factory’s employee and play spaces. Their ideas ranged from gardens filled with local plants to fun playgrounds made up of a rollercoaster, aquarium and soccer stadium, which some of the children shared with the guests at the ground-breaking ceremony.
As the construction starts, the LEGO Group is partnering with the local government, community organisations, NGOs and charities to ensure children in Vietnam benefit from greater learning through play opportunities.
As an integral part of the community, the company is committing US $150,000 before the end of this year to offer more playful learning opportunities to children in the local area and beyond with partnerships, including Save the Children Vietnam and Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.
The LEGO Foundation pledged US $4 million in 2019 to VVOB iPlay programme in a Vietnam for a four-year partnership designed to introduce learning through play practices to teachers.