IKEA has allocated €1.5 billion to solar and wind projects up to 2015 in a bid to meet all its on-site energy demands from renewable sources by 2020.
With a target to become “energy and resource independent” by 2020, the Swedish furniture retailer also hopes to improve the energy efficiency in IKEA Group operations by at least 20% as revealed in its People & Planet Positive strategy published today.
“We want to create a better everyday life for the many people. A better life includes living more sustainably. We have been working towards that goal for many years and have already done a lot, and we are now ready to take the next big step. People & Planet Positive will help us to do that; transforming our business and having a positive impact,” said Mikael Ohlsson, President and CEO, IKEA Group.
The industry appears to have welcomed IKEA’s sustainable approach. In response to the new strategy, John Sauven, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK, said “People & Planet Positive puts IKEA at the forefront of leading companies looking at the fundamentals of how to transform their business model in the face of environmental threats ranging from food and energy security issues through to water shortages and loss of biodiversity. On renewable energy IKEA’s vision of getting 100% renewable energy in their own operations by 2020 is the kind of ambition that if other companies followed would provide a huge boost to clean technology globally.”
To date, the company has installed more than 342,000 PV modules on its stores and buildings worldwide. In recent months, IKEA has been pushing its solar efforts in the US having announced the completion of its 34th solar project earlier this month.
So far, more than 75% of the company’s US stores have a solar installation. With five more locations in the pipeline, IKEA is set to have a solar presence in almost 89% of its US stores. Including these five projects, which are currently under construction, the company will have a PV capacity of 38MW.
Moreover, IKEA has been recognized as one of the top commercial users of solar energy in the US. According to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Vote Solar Initiative released in September, IKEA ranks fourth among the top corporate companies using solar energy in the US for on-site consumption, beaten only by Wal-Mart, Costco Wholesale and Kohl’s Department Stores.