Popular Swedish furniture retailer, IKEA is well on its way to achieving most of its 2020 sustainability targets, with major increases in its use of renewable energy.
In the fiscal year 2014, IKEA produced 1,810GWh of renewable energy - a 27% increase on the amount produced in 2013. And the company has committed to investing a further €1.5 billion in renewable generation by the end of 2015. We wrote recently about the company’s investment in the largest rooftop solar system in Kansas which involves the installation of 2,850 solar panels on one of its stores in Merriam. [Engerati – IKEA Plans Largest Rooftop Solar in Kansas.]
IKEA isn’t the first company to recognize the fact that the local production and consumption of renewable energy is a lot more cost effective for large-scale consumers like themselves, Walmart, Google, Apple and Facebook to name a few. [Google Sees Green and The Google Smart Home Play]
Renewable energy investments
In the last 12 months the Swedish flat-pack business committed to developing another 87 wind turbines across its estate, bringing the total to 224, and installing another 150,000 solar panels, increasing the total to 700,000 – and taking the company a step closer to producing more renewable energy than the total energy it consumes by 2020.
The company is already nearing a total investment of over €1.5 billion in renewable energy projects.
Meanwhile, sales attached to its range of products designed to help customers lead a more sustainable lifestyle have passed the €1 billion mark – a 58% increase compared with 2013. These products are designed with the aim of reducing customers' energy and water use, and reducing waste. This sends a very clear message to their customers-it shows that they not only care about the environment but that they are also committed to reducing customers’ energy bills too.
IKEA has already achieved its energy efficiency target and is making significant progress towards a complete switch over to energy efficient induction hobs and LED lighting.
Around 75% of all lighting products sold were LED or compatible with LED bulbs, which use 85% less energy and last 20 times longer than traditional bulbs. The entire IKEA lighting range will convert to LED by September 2015. The company’s 2014 sustainability report, People & Planet Positive IKEA Group Sustainability Strategy for 2020, indicates that sustainability is a key driver of innovation and an integral part of IKEA’s business strategy.
Energy efficiency and energy independency
According to the report, in store, the business saved €66 million via energy efficiency.
“Sustainability is a key driver of innovation and an integral part of our business strategy – and we see it as a great opportunity to improve our business,” said Peter Agnefjäll, President and CEO of IKEA Group. “That’s why we’ve set ambitious 100% targets, for example for our LED lighting range, important raw materials and renewable energy. We are determined to grow IKEA while also having a positive impact on people and the planet.”
Steve Howard, the Group’s chief sustainability officer added: “We want to make IKEA completely sustainable. I’m proud to say that we’re making good progress……we’re investing in renewable energy to bring us closer to our goal of being energy independent.”
With the world moving towards energy efficiency and reduced energy costs, companies like IKEA have made themselves a good business case as customers take the lead from their furniture store in the quest for a more sustainable lifestyle.