Toymaker Lego Says Clean-Energy Stakes Won't Join Core Business

  • Lego ties achieving renewables balance target to core growth
  • Clean energy gaining attraction in company power purchases

Lego A/S’ decision to take a stake in a German offshore wind farm is tied to the toymaker’s own clean-energy target and doesn’t mark a new core business area, Chief Executive Officer Joergen V. Knudstorp said.

Lego injected about a third of the finance for the 1.25 billion-euro ($1.4 billion) Borkum Riffgrund 1 wind park developed by fellow Danish company Dong Energy S/A. The stake is linked to Billund-based Lego’s aim to offset all its power needs with renewables by 2020, Knudstorp said in an interview Friday in Norddeich, Germany, at an event marking the wind park’s official start.

Riffgrund’s 78 turbines are set to deliver 312 megawatts of power that will optimistically make up the major portion of Lego’s clean-energy target, said Knudstorp. “We’re going into this to secure future renewable energy” and the company isn’t in current talks to take other stakes, he said.

Companies such as Lego are discovering a double dividend in tapping clean energy. Generation costs are falling, helping secure profit from investments even as subsidies dwindle, while companies can strike a chord with consumers in pitching in to fight against climate change.

McDonald’s Corp. in September said it will power some of its U.K. restaurants with renewable energy after locking in prices with a solar park near Reading in a 20-year deal. Lego is a co-founder of the Windmade initiative that ties members to independent certification of its environment goals.

Achieving Lego’s renewable balance target will depend on the company’s growth, said Knudstorp. The toymaker expanded by about 18 percent in the last decade, boosting power consumption. First-half sales rose 23 percent, helped by growth in Asia, it said Sept. 2.

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