IKEA leading the way on renewable energy

Global furniture giant IKEA is generating more than a quarter of its electricity from renewable energy, according to its first progress report since launching its 2020 sustainability goals.

IKEA has committed to produce more renewable energy than it consumes by 2020 and said the store had installed or was in the process of installing more than 550,000 solar panels and 137 wind turbines across its operations. The solar panels and the wind farms generate the equivalent of 27 per cent of the store’s electricity needs. The retailer has set a target to produce 70 per cent of renewable energy by 2015.
Other highlights in the retail giant’s ‘People and Planet Positive Strategy’ progress report show that a third of the wood IKEA used last year came from FSC-certified or recycled sources, while IKEA’s share of cotton from more sustainable sources has more than doubled from 35 per cent in fiscal year 2012 to 72 per cent in 2013.

IKEA also reported that it has sold 22.4 million LED products, claiming it has saved an estimated £70.83 million per year in total for its customers.”One year on from the launch of our People & Planet Positive Strategy, we are making good progress […] enabling millions of people to live more sustainably,” said Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer, IKEA Group.

IKEA operates in 26 countries with 305 stores. To date, it claims to have introduced over 165,000 environmental and social improvements across the company, including its ‘IWAY’ code of conduct to prevent child labour in its supply chain and cutting the level of the waste from its stores that ends up in landfill to 15 per cent.

In the UK, it recently announced it was selling what it considers to be the most affordable solar panels on the market to its customers in a pilot programme it launched last year. Through this action, IKEA said it hopes to “make it easier for families across the UK to lead a more sustainable life at home.”

“With our vision of creating ‘a better everyday life for many people,’ I am convinced there is no other way of doing business than in a sustainable way” Peter Agnefjäll, President and CEO, IKEA Group, said.

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