Swedish furniture retailer IKEA announced a new sustainability strategy this week that will see the chain become self-sufficient in renewable energy by 2020.
The ambitious new strategy, People & Planet Positive, aims to help its 655 million visitors and its own operations become more sustainable.
The plan is backed up by a €1.5 billion investment programme in wind and solar projects to make the group entirely energy independent.
The retail giant has more than 298 stores in 26 countries, including 38 in the US. Solar panels have already been installed in 34 locations and work is underway in five more, which will eventually tot up to a capacity of 38 MW and cover 89% of its American stores and distribution centres.
As part of its current €590 million investment in renewable energy, IKEA also owns and/or operates 110 wind turbines in Europe, including a 12.3 MW wind farm in Scotland.
Going forward, however, the company also wants to improve the energy efficiency of its operations by at least 20% and encourage its suppliers to do the same.
Meanwhile, on the customer side, IKEA says from 2016 it will sell only LED lighting, which lasts around 20 years and uses up to 85% less electricity, the most efficient home appliances and ensure that all furnishing materials, including packaging, are renewable, recyclable or recycled.
“We believe that sustainability should not be a luxury good – it should be affordable for everyone,” says he group’s chief sustainability officer, Steve Howard. “With over 770 million visitors to our stores, we are excited by the opportunity to help our customers… with products that help them save money on their household bills by reducing energy and water use, as well as reducing waste.”
For further information:
IKEA plugs in solar panels at US stores (9-Aug)
Hertz and IKEA move ahead with solar installations (10-Jul)
BMW, Ford and IKEA among companies helping deploy electric vehicles in US (22-Jun)
IKEA unpacks more solar panels and electric vehicle charging points (21-Feb)
24 October 2012