The IKEA Group is investing massively in renewable energy and efficiency, they are even helping developing countries adapt to climate change. Ikea has invested almost $2.5 billion in renewable energy since 2009. This is not only about responsible corporate conduct this is also about reducing costs and managing business risks associated with volatile energy prices. IKEA is committed to generating an amount of renewable energy equal to its power requirement by 2020. IKEA’s renewable energy investments put the company on track to become energy independent within the next couple of years.
IKEA has been a corporate renewable energy leader for years. In 2013, the IKEA Group produced 1,425 gigawatts of power from renewable sources, including wind and solar, equivalent to 37 percent of the company’s total energy needs. In 2014 Ikea Group chief sustainability officer Steve Howard called renewables “common sense energy” at a launch event on the opening day of the Climate Week. “We are delighted to make this investment – it is great for jobs, great for energy security, and great for our business. Importantly, it’s great for the future of our climate,” Howard said.
As part of its People & Planet Positive sustainability strategy, the company is investing billions in wind and solar. The company is also investing in geothermal to supply its heating and cooling needs in stores in the Kansas City and Denver areas. IKEA now generates the equivalent of almost three quarters (73 percent) of the energy it used in 2017.
As explained by Kerri Molinaro, president of IKEA Canada, investing in renewable energy is a “win-win-win,” that benefits customers and the planet.
W I N D
As of 2014 the IKEA Group owned or was in the process of acquiring 157 wind turbines globally, 110 of those turbines were in Europe (Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Ireland). IKEA now has 416 wind turbines worldwide.
So far IKEA has invested more than half a billion dollars in wind energy including a 98 megawatt wind farm wind farm in Illinois. Power produced at this farm is sold on in the open market to offset its own energy costs. The farm became operational in 2015.
IKEA also purchased a 46-megawatt, 20-turbine wind farm in Pincher Creek, Alberta. At the time of the signing in 2014 it was the largest wind farm owned by a Canadian retailer. It generates 161 gigawatt hours every year.
Molinaro called the Alberta windfarm, “a significant step to achieving IKEA’s global ambition to be energy independent by 2020, producing more renewable energy than we consume”.
S O L A R
As of 2014 the company owned 550,000 solar panels in nine countries totaling 90 MW. As of 2018 IKEA owns more than 750,000 solar panels worldwide. IKEA has outfitted a number of its buildings with solar panels including 4,620 solar panels on a Miami-Dade area store. This one store produces about 1,738,876 kWh of electricity annually (equal to 1,227 tons of carbon emissions). The Miami-Dade-area store is located in Sweetwater, and there are also rooftop arrays in Orlando, Tampa and Sunrise making IKEA Florida’s largest producer of non-utility solar.
“This array allows us to continue rolling-out solar panels atop 90% of our U.S. Locations,” said Mike Ward, IKEA U.S. president. “IKEA is committed to creating a more sustainable life for communities where we operate, so we are proud of investing in four Florida solar projects.”
IKEA USA has been recognized by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the
Vote Solar Initiative for their investments in solar photovotaic technology. IKEA is investing in solar energy in Canada, they starting with solar panels on three Ontario stores almost 8 years ago.
IKEA is also selling solar panels and kits to consumers. In 2013 Christiana Figueres, then the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC tweeted, “Furniture giant #IKEA capitalizing on #cleanenergy revolution, selling DIY #solar panel kits”.
The company started selling home solar panels in the Netherlands in 2014, they subsequently expanded to their other retail outlets around the world. In 2017 IKEA started selling home solar batteries in the UK. IKEA is committed to the sale of home solar solutions in 29 markets by 2025.
F U E L C E L L S
In 2016 IKEA announced that it was deploying fuel cells to partner with its extensive use of onsite renewable energy. Like many of its sustainability focused efforts the installation of fuel cells will save the company money. As reported by Energy Manager Today, IKEA spokesperson Joe Roth, said that the fuel cells have the potential to cut costs by 20 percent to 40 percent when they are fully up and running.
Howard, said the company’s emphasis on renewables is the result of “rational business decision with a decent payback.” Forbes and a number of other analysis have independently corroborated the business benefits of the move towards renewables and energy efficiency.
E N E R G Y E F F I C I E N C Y
The retail giant evaluates all locations regularly for energy conservation opportunities, they also innovated flat-packing of goods for efficient distribution. During FY2011, energy efficiency across all IKEA stores improved by 4 percent compared to FY2010, which the company says helped save 6.2 million euro ($7.26 million US). The gains were mainly achieved through improvements in store equipment, such as HVAC systems and lighting.
Between 2010 and 2014 energy efficiency measures have saved the company $54 million though its use of warehouse energy efficiency programs including HVAC and boiler upgrades and new energy management systems.
IKEA both uses and sells highly efficient LED lighting in many of its stores. As of 2016 the sustainability leader only sells LED lamps and bulbs in its stores. IKEA is committed to making all of its stores to 100 percent LED lit.
IKEA has sold tens of millions of LEDs and the company is committed to selling these energy efficient lights at the lowest price on the market. IKEA has replaced millions of lights in its stores and it kicked off its plans by giving every one of its 130,000 employees an LED light. IKEA is also planning to offer only energy-efficient products like appliances and LED bulbs.
IKEA also recycles waste material (paper, wood, plastic, etc.) and incorporates environmental measures into the construction of buildings (ie HVAC, lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water conserving restrooms)
When combined with their focus on efficiency IKEA’s renewable energy leadership and fuel cells are a smart investment and part of a good business strategy that will pay lucrative dividends.