Ikea is setting itself up as a role model for sustainable business by announcing it will invest €1.5 billion in solar and wind power to ensure it is totally self-sufficient by 2020.
When the furniture company was founded its motto was to do things as cheaply and efficiently as possible (and of course, to create designs with simplistic Swedish style intact). Twenty-five years on and it now has outlets in 41 countries. Engineering a sustainable model, whereby the company can continue to keep costs low for both the consumer and the firm rather than competing with rising energy prices, is the logical next step.
Speaking to Reuters, the company’s chief executive Mikael Ohlsson said the move was sure to drive innovation in the industry and beyond. The “People and Planet Positive” campaign will see the €1.5 billion (£1.2 billion) spent on building on Ikea’s existing solar and wind farms to deliver 70 percent of the global firm’s energy by 2015, with total self-sufficiency slated for 2020. The target seems achievable, considering the 342,000 solar panels on its outlets and factories already generate 27 percent of its total energy. Add to that the fact that Ikea has wind farms in six countries across Europe and the fact that, since 2009, it has already invested half of that €1.5 billion figure, and it looks like the long-term strategy has been in the works for some time.
That strategy also includes planting as many trees as it uses in its furniture production by 2020, buying half its wood supply from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests, selling energy efficient products like induction cookers, using LED lights across the company (which, it says, will cut emissions equal to those produced by the Netherlands), ensuring its other bought-in products are sustainable and helping supply clean water to the areas its factories are based.