Lego urged to ‘block Shell’ amidst Arctic drilling concerns

Lego has become the latest global corporation to be rapped by Greenpeace as the environmental group is today (1 July) launching a global campaign to force the toymaker to honour its environmental commitments and end its partnership with oil giant Shell.

In a new report, Greenpeace claims that Shell – which has been embroiled in its own environmental dispute of late – is using Lego to neutralise controversy over its ‘highly dangerous’ plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. (Scroll down for full report).

The 2012-2014 partnership between Lego, Shell and Ferrari has seen the Danish toymaker distribute more than 16 million Shell-branded products via petrol stations in 26 countries. By continuing that partnership, ‘Lego is putting sales above its commitment to the environment and children’s futures’, Greenpeace says. 

“Children love the Arctic and its unique wildlife like polar bears, narwhals and walruses that are completely dependent on the Arctic sea ice,” said Greenpeace’s Arctic Campaigner Ian Duff.

“It’s a fragile environment and an oil spill would be devastating. And of course the only reason Shell can even reach the oil is because global warming is melting the ice.

“Climate change is an enormous threat facing all children around the world, but Shell is trying to hijack the magic of LEGO to hide its role. It is using LEGO to clean up its image and divert attention from its dangerous plans to raid the pristine Arctic for oil. And it’s exploiting kids’ love of their toys to build life-long loyalty it doesn’t deserve. It’s time for LEGO to finally pull the plug on this deal.

“We’re calling on LEGO to stand up for Arctic protection, and for children, by ditching Shell for good.”

VIDEO: Lego-Shell partnership

Since 2012, Shell’s Arctic programme has faced fierce criticism from environmental NGOs and regulators. Greenpeace has added further fuel to the flame by insinuating that the oil firm is putting the polar region’s unique marine environment at risk and exacerbating global warming. 


Greenpeace’s campaign kicked off earlier today with protests at Legoland in London. More than five million ‘Arctic supporters’ have already signed an e-petition for Lego to end its partnership with Shell and #BlockShell is being used to put pressure on Lego through ‘creative action’.

Despite this controversy, Lego has previously been applauded for its green credentials. The firm now recycles 90% of its waste and has a roadmap to make its operations nearly one-third more efficient over five years. Late last year, the group joined forces with WWF to reduce its carbon impacts through greater collaboration with its supply chain.

Lego’s president and chief executive Jørgen Vig Knudstorp has previously been quoted as saying: “We are determined to leave a positive impact on society, and the planet that our children will inherit.”

But the toymaker has confirmed to Greenpeace that a further co-promotion between Shell and LEGO has already been agreed to start this year.

REPORT: Greenpeace calls for Lego to block Shell

Luke Nicholls

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie