The LEGO Group on Thursday broke ground on its new carbon-neutral run factory in Chesterfield County. This is a US $1 billion investment in the company’s long-term growth globally and the first American manufacturing facility for the company.
Once completed in 2025, the 340 acres site, the size of 260 American football fields, will have rooftop and ground solar panels and an on-site 35-40 MW solar plant, generating the equivalent of the energy needed to power approximately 10,000 American homes. The LEGO Group’s ambition is for the solar plant to match the total annual energy requirements of the site.
The site will be designed to support the company’s sustainability ambitions, including reducing its absolute global carbon emissions by 37 percent by 2032. It will use the latest energy-efficient production equipment while buildings and manufacturing processes are designed to minimize energy use.
Carsten Rasmussen, Chief Operations Officer of the LEGO Group, said: “We are absolutely delighted to mark the beginning of construction here in Virginia. We are grateful for the fruitful collaboration we have had with all partners across the Commonwealth of Virginia who share and support our ambition to build this factory.
“We are working hard to reduce emissions at the LEGO Group and are really excited about our plans to build this solar plant as we push towards a better world for our children to inherit.
“Our new site will allow us to inspire millions of children across the Americas through play, and we can’t wait to get started.”
To celebrate the groundbreaking, the LEGO Group revealed it will officially ramp up its community investments by providing over US $1 million to charitable organizations that support local children from disadvantaged backgrounds with learning through play programs.
This donation is above and beyond the US $300,000 provided in support of the Children’s Museum of Richmond and the Science Museum of Virginia in 2022 as part of the ongoing LEGO Playful Learning Museum Network initiative.
Carsten Rasmussen said: “We are honored to have been so warmly welcomed by the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are committed to making a meaningful contribution to the community and giving children opportunities to realize their potential. We look forward to working with local partners and organizations to support initiatives that inspire kids.”
Other recipients of the donation provided in collaboration with the LEGO Foundation will be announced in the Summer.
Children of the greater Richmond area will also have a say in the site’s development. In March, the LEGO Group invited 250 children to share their ideas for making the land around the factory buildings welcoming to animals, plants, and visitors.
Built with LEGO bricks, their ideas ranged from building trees for flying squirrels and birds to fitting plants with cameras to enable visitors to observe the area’s biodiversity live and in color. The children’s boundless creativity will inspire the final landscaping design in 2025.
The LEGO Group is currently recruiting up to 500 people to join a temporary packing facility due to open in the first half of 2024. Once the main factory is fully operational, it will employ 1,760 highly skilled workers responsible for operating state-of-the-art molding, processing, and packing machinery.
The company is participating in the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program to raise awareness in the local talent market of current and future roles.
Will you help support independent, local journalism?
We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.