On Friday, international toymaker LEGO opened doors on an environmentally conscious, state of the art factory in the city of Jiaxing, in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang.
“China is a future core market for the LEGO Group. Having full control of the production process is essential to deliver products of a consistent high quality and safety and in harmony with our values” says Bali Padda, COO. He adds:
“In addition by placing a manufacturing site in the region we reduce our environmental impact as we will reduce the need for transporting products from Europe to be sold in Asia.”
The new plant, built near the Yangtze River Delta and 200 miles south of Shanghai, was designed to fit high environmental standards and integrate sustainable solutions from recycling and reusing waste and water to minimize energy consumption.
Solar panels on the factory roof will generate almost 6 gigawatts – equivalent to about 7 percent of the factory’s energy consumption. The solar technology can also save the atmosphere from 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
The site is 315,000 square meters and the factory itself takes up about 165,000 – the size of approximately 20 football fields. Electric vehicles will provide transportation within the site.
Eighty-thousand square meters of the property is covered by greenery to prevent soil erosion and promote a harmonious environment for the employees.
Other environmental features include a cooling system that uses no greenhouse gases; smart-LED lighting for all main areas of the factory; and natural irrigation from Yangtze river for the grounds.
The factory plans to service 80 percent of the LEGO’s growing Asian market and employs approximately 1,200 people.