IKEA Raises the Bar in Energy, Resource Best Practices

IkeaMega-retailer IKEA is well on its way to achieving two bold commitments by its self-imposed deadline of 2020.

The Netherlands-based company designed a sustainability strategy that diversifies its energy usage while reducing its consumption of an important natural resource – wood. IKEA has optimistically committed to using less wood than it replaces with new trees.

Investments in energy will total US$1.95 billion by 2015. And by 2020, IKEA plans to create as much renewable energy as it consumes. By the numbers, IKEA has 127,000 employees worldwide; 12,000 products; and 332 stores in 38 countries. As the third largest consumer of wood in the world following The Home Depot and Lowe’s, these are clearly bold commitments.

“The world is changing,” said Dr. Ian Noble, GAIN Chief Scientist. “More than ever, there is an urgent need to adapt to the challenges of climate change, urbanization and resource scarcity.”

The private sector will be an important player in helping the world’s most vulnerable adapt to these changes. Currently, $1 billion is allocated of the $70-$100 billion annual requirement to invest in developing countries alone.

IKEA began investment strategy in 2009 and are little under halfway there. In doing so, they have installed solar panels on its buildings and purchased wind farms in six European nations, which accounts for 27 percent of all the electricity IKEA consumes. The plan is aimed to improve IKEA’s energy efficiency by 20 percent. 

Steve Howard, IKEA’s Chief Sustainability Officer had this say regarding the plan; “People and Planet positive is IKEA Group’s sincere commitment to try our best to make a meaningful contribution towards a more sustainable future, for our forests and farmlands, our climate and a more sustainable life at home for many people. Sustainability cannot be a luxury good, it must be affordable for all.”

Read the recent article about IKEA’s sustainability plan IKEA Will Grow More Wood Than It Uses by 2020, Touts Clean Energy, Efficiency Commitments HERE.