Branding Sustainability: Coal Mines to Wind Mills, Lego Transforms Toy Sets into Green Alternatives

While much of the world has begun to shift to renewable energy, Poland continues to lead the way in European air pollution with nearly 80% of power still generated from coal. Lego Poland has stepped up to help educate the next generation.

The immensely popular toy company has introduced instructions to transform some of their most popular toy sets into more sustainable alternatives in an effort to inform children of climate change.

Airplanes can be rebuilt as electric trains, cars can be repurposed as bicycles or scooters, and a coal mine can be transformed into an electricity-generating windmill. The instructions come with educational information about how each original item impacts the environment and how the more environmentally friendly option is a better alternative. Electric trains generate 95% less CO2 than domestic flight planes and e-scooters 39% less CO2 than cars.

 
 

The campaign was launched in June 2020 during lockdown but is now available both in-store and online. Following the release of Green Instructions, Lego launched a series of online videos in early 2021 to guide children on how to use them.

“Lego bricks are much more than toys. They shape generations, so we decided to use them literally as a language of communication with the younger generation in Poland.”

It was so educational that 723 schools across the country downloaded the video lessons to help discuss climate change with students. Instead of producing new sustainable sets and asking consumers to make additional purchases, Lego released new instructions encouraging people to reuse their existing sets.

 
 

The campaign was a collaboration between Lego Poland and Ogilvy.

 

With 90% of toys made from plastic, toymakers like Lego need to improve their green creds to keep up with increasingly eco-conscious consumers.

The brand is already making good progress. According to their website, Lego has committed to multiple sustainability actions – including pledging to make all of its bricks from sustainable sources by 2030, using renewable or recycled materials for all its packaging by 2025 and detailing the steps the company has taken to reduce its CO2 impact by using 100% solar and wind energy.

“Lego bricks are much more than toys. They shape generations, so we decided to use them literally as a language of communication with the younger generation in Poland,” said Maciej Twardowski, Ogilvy Poland’s executive creative director.

“The Green Instructions teaches through play about a very important topic that concerns the environment and will be even more relevant to this generation. Knowledge is always at the beginning of the impact we can have on our world.”

What we like: The re-use element which really shows that this is not a sales-driven campaign. Kids get to learn about climate change messages while engrossed in a fun activity like building Lego. What’s not to love?

What we don’t like: Stepping on Lego bricks!

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