IKEA’s parent company, Ingka, has said it will generate more renewable energy than its stores consume, exceeding its target of drawing even by the end of 2019.
Ingka also revealed that the company has invested roughly $2.8 billion (£2.25bn) in solar and wind energy over the past decade to power its global operations.
Leiden-based Ingka, which owns 367 of IKEA’s 423 retail outlets, already has stakes in two US solar parks, a wind farm in Romania, 534 wind turbines in 14 countries, and nearly a million solar panel units on its stores, distribution centres and administrative buildings.
The company predicts that its entire supply chain will become climate positive by 2030.
Pia Heidenmark Cook, Ingka Group’s chief sustainability officer, said that removing its fossil fuel dependence is more than just a social good initiative. Describing the company as a resource-intensive operation, she said mitigating its huge carbon footprint is essential to its longevity as as global enterprise.
“We have to do this because we’re here for the long term,” she explained to Quartz. She added that the company’s range of sustainability programs has helped improve employee attraction, retention and motivation.
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Ingka Group CEO Jesper Brodin told Reuters: “It’s actually a smart business and what the business model of the future will look like. Everything around fossil fuels and draft use of resources will be expensive.
“We believe the future of energy is renewable. We have invested heavily in wind and solar over the past decade because it makes our business stronger. We are excited that our actions have resulted in us exceeding an important milestone on the IKEA journey to become climate positive.”
The company is aiming to have its operations using 100% renewable electricity in its retail operations by 2050, and to phase out fossil fuel-based heating and cooling by 2030.
In addition to its goal of becoming carbon positive, the company is actively trying to make solar energy more affordable for customers.”We want to empower millions of customers to produce and use renewable energy,” Heidenmark Cook said.
“Our home solar service is today available in seven countries, and we continue investing heavily to develop our home energy service offering, with the aim to make it available across all our 30 markets by 2025.”