Danish toymaker Lego Group officially began the construction of the Lego factory on Thursday, following a momentous groundbreaking ceremony held in Binh Duong Province in southern Vietnam. The factory is estimated to cost $1 billion, the largest-ever investment by a Danish company in the country.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Binh Minh led the ceremony at the 44-hectare site. Lego’s Chief Executive Officer Niels B. Christiansen and Chief Operations Officer Carsten Rasmussen, as well as national and provincial officials, were also present at the event.
“We are grateful for all the support we have received to realize 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,” said Christiansen.
Lego, established in 1932, is known for its colorful building blocks, a favorite among children across the globe. The company has also expanded its businesses over the years, building several amusement parks called Legoland.
The new factory will not only allow Lego to reach even more children with learning through play but also create long-term growth in the Asia-Pacific region and enable the company to adapt and respond to shifts in consumer demand quickly, added Christiansen.
The factory in Binh Duong, which borders Vietnam’s business epicenter Ho Chi Minh City to the south, will be the company’s sixth factory in the world and the second in Asia.
It will feature state-of-the-art technology to mold, process, and pack Lego products. The factory is set to bring in more than 4,000 job opportunities for Vietnamese workers when production starts in 2024. Employees will be 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 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 built on a neighboring plot of land, to match the total annual energy requirement of the site, according to a press statement.
It will also use the latest energy-efficient production equipment and will be constructed to meet a minimum standard of LEED Gold – a globally recognized green building certification. These efforts will contribute to the company’s target of reducing its absolute carbon emissions by 37% by 2032.
As the construction starts, the Lego Group is partnering with the local government, community organizations, non-profit organizations, and charities to ensure children in Vietnam benefit from greater learning through play opportunities.
Lego has also sought inspiration from Vietnamese kids for the design of the factory. Over 40 children from Hoi Nghia Primary School created their design ideas for the factory — from gardens filled with local plans to an aquarium and soccer stadium.
The company is committing $150,000 before the end of this year to offer more playful learning opportunities to children in Binh Duong and beyond with partnerships, including Save the Children Vietnam and Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.
Additionally, the Lego Group began planting 50,000 trees near the site to foster sustainability. The trees will compensate for the approximately 25,000 trees that will be removed during the construction. About 15,000 trees have already been planted; a further 35,000 will be planted in 2023 and 2024.