Lego inaugurates a new wind farm off the cost of Germany as part of an effort to become 100 percent renewable in its energy consumption by 2020. As Joel Flynn reports, it comes just as European investment into renewables hits an 11-year low - and ahead of what might be a testy global climate conference in Paris.
This isn't the sort of construction most people would associate with Lego. Seventy-eight wind turbines are in this farm 300 kilometres off the coast of Hamburg. Lego and its partners, DONG Energy and William Demant say it will create power for 320,000 German households. Jorgen Vig Knudstrop is Lego's CEO. SOUNDBITE: Lego Group CEO, Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, saying (English): "We started out about five years ago talking about the fact that we wanted the company by 2020 to be based on renewable sources of energy, so this is a very significant step in this direction, aiming at balancing our energy consumption at our energy facilities worldwide with this manufacturing of renewable energy." It's a big step for the plastic brick-maker, but one that matches the scale of its ambition. The Danish toy giant is trying to drive energy efficiency - looking at alternative ways of making its plastic components. But the investment environment for green energy in Europe is faltering. According to one recent report, EU money going towards renewable energy has fallen to an 11 year low. Despite the testing conditions though, Vig Knudstrop is not worried. SOUNDBITE: Lego Group CEO, Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, saying (English): "What I can say is that for our company we are still very positive on this, we are making these investments to be able to base the company on renewable energy and of course the only thing that matters to a corporation like ours is long term stability in the conditions for investing." Pressure on companies and governments is rising ahead of the global climate conference in Paris in December. While European investment in renewables might be down, in the Americas it's hitting record highs. Despite a toy-maker like Lego getting into renewable energy, many already know that climate change is far from child's play.