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The Lego Group is planning to invest as much as $400 million across three years in order to “accelerate sustainability and social responsibility initiatives.”

The company’s plans, announced Tuesday, are wide-ranging and cover a number of areas. Among other things, the toy-making giant said it would look to phase out single-use plastic bags in its products by 2025, with a trial of recyclable paper bags taking place next year.

In addition, the cash will be used to develop more sustainable bricks and packaging, with the family-owned firm looking to increase its use of so-called “bio bricks” made from materials like sugar cane. Research into the development of sustainable plastics made from renewable and recycled sources will also continue.

When it comes to manufacturing operations — a process that can be energy intensive — the business said these would be carbon neutral by the

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NORCAT, a Sudbury innovation and technology centre, is hoping a new business program will get bricks and mortar shops, hurt by sluggish sales during the pandemic, online.

The program is called Future Proof, and it will feature a partnership with Toronto-based Digital Main Street, a service that helps businesses build an online presence.

Several government agencies are funding the program, which has a tight deadline – it runs until March 2021. 

The partnership comes as the Canadian Federation of Businesses recently announced a grim statistic: only 62 per cent of Ontario downtown businesses are open, and 26 per cent are making normal sales.

Hugh Kruzel, who’s helping lead the NORCAT project, said the intent is to help businesses turn “bricks into clicks.”

An interested business goes through a simple application process to be considered for the program, Kruzel said, and then the work begins. 

“[Businesses] get one dedicated team which

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