Promoting the importance of early learning through play is one of the LEGO company’s tenets, and The LEGO Foundation just stepped up their philanthropic game with an $8.2 million dollar pledge to UNICEF. But LEGO’s stance on children’s issues isn’t limited to just a singular concern or a monetary donation: the toy giant has also committed to creating best practices for their own business model and to sharing these findings and aspirations with other businesses in the hopes that they too will act in the best interest of children across the globe.

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While making sure that worker families get fair wages and that the company’s supply chains don’t include child labor are natural areas for LEGO to examine, the company is also focusing on online gaming as a concern and a priority area in which they want to take more responsibility. More specifically, LEGO will be looking at how the company markets their products to children and how to protect children online. UNICEF’s chief of corporate responsibility, Viktor Nylund, agrees: “It is important they recognize that this is one of the highest risk areas because of issues ranging from online bullying and exploitation to inappropriate contact.”

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The CEO of LEGO and the CEO of The LEGO Foundation both stated their belief in the importance of creative play in a child’s life as being a key catalyst for the LEGO/UNICEF collaboration. Fittingly, a portion of the pledged money will go towards providing evidence of play’s critical role to governments and policy makers. By giving attention to what matters in a child’s early years, they hope that the projected 2 billion plus (!!!) children being born in the next thirty years will grow up to be well-supported, creative thinkers, ready to tackle the world’s problems as they grow and change.

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