IKEA, not just Yellow & Blue

IKEA invests €470 million in renewable energy projects

Furniture giant IKEA has released its annual Sustainability Report which reveals an impressive list of green achievements and milestones.

The 2011 IKEA Sustainability Report, released yesterday, outlines the sustainability work carried out on a global level by the IKEA Group during2011, including key performance indicators to show results against targets.

IKEA has a long history of working with sustainability, focusing on creating more from less, striving for the highest ethical standards and being a “good partner in society”.

IKEA is a founding member of both the Forest Stewardship Council and the Better Cotton Initiative, and has maintained successful partnerships with UNICEF, Save the Children and World Wildlife Fund for a decade or more.

The IKEA code of conduct for suppliers, IWAY, was launched in 2000 and to date, over 165,000 environmental and social improvements have been recorded, making a difference to people’s lives and the environment around the world.

IKEA says sustainability is part of its culture and value base, and is integrated in every part the business.

“The IKEA vision – to create a better everyday life for the many people – influences how we develop our range and run our business. Our roots in Småland have taught us the importance of economising with resources and it is also at the core of our sustainability work. We want to enable our customers to live a more sustainable life at home in an easy, affordable and accessible way. At the same time, we continue to strengthen our positive impact on society,” said Mikael Ohlsson, President and CEO, IKEA Group.


“The sense of urgency around sustainability in IKEA has intensified and we are continuing to push ourselves to do even more. We are working hard to secure more renewable energy, protect raw materials and drive innovation to eliminate waste – choosing instead to create new, valuable resources. And we are making good progress,” said Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group.

Highlights from the Global 2011 Sustainability Report:

* IKEA allocated Euro 470 million (approximately $670 Million US) to invest in renewable energies. This includes Euro 200 million in PV installations and Euro 270 million in wind farms. It covers both current equipment and installations as well as decided investments that will be installed over the next 1.5 years. Currently, IKEA has 69 wind turbines, 124 PV projects (installed on 40 units in seven countries; Germany, Canada, Spain, US, Italy, UK and Belgium, and 84 approved) and in this financial year, FY12, IKEA has purchased 27 additional wind turbines.

* These major investments in renewable energy, focusing on wind and solar power, are moving toward IKEA’s long-term goal of using 100% renewable energy. More than half of the energy needed to power IKEA buildings now comes from renewable sources.

* Energy efficiency across all IKEA stores improved by an additional 4%, mainly through store equipment improvements. This helped IKEA save Euro 6.2 million during FY11, demonstrating how sustainability improvements can deliver strong business benefits. IKEA also enables customers to save energy in their homes. During FY11 IKEA sold 168,000 energy efficient induction hobs, nearly half of all kitchen hobs (ranges) sold at IKEA.

* The share of more sustainable cotton in the IKEA range increased significantly – up to 50,000 tons, representing 23.8% of total cotton use at IKEA. IKEA works with WWF and other partners to help cotton farmers in India, Pakistan, China and Turkey to introduce more sustainable cultivation methods. More than 100,000 farmers now use techniques that significantly reduce the need for chemical pesticides, fertilizers and water. This contributes to significant cost reductions and better earnings for farmers.

* Total donations from the IKEA Foundation increased to Euro 65 million (approximately $84.5 million US) in 2011. Currently funded programs, run by expert partners such as UNICEF and Save the Children, will benefit an estimated 100 million children.

Highlights from the US 2011 Sustainability Report:

* Solar: IKEA US is in the midst of investing $150 US million in photovoltaic (solar) systems covering almost 85% of IKEA US roof tops. During FY11, IKEA made investments in adding solar panels on 11 US units. Upon completion, these 11 systems combined will generate 6,800 KW of electric power. The individual systems will provide anywhere from 20% to 70% of the electricity needs of the unit upon which they are installed, and will reduce CO2 by 7,700 tons. Additionally, 17 new installations will be completed during FY12.

* Geothermal: IKEA US completed its first geothermal project with the opening of its 38th store near Denver during the summer of 2011.

* Electric Vehicle Charging stations: During FY11 IKEA US announced that it would install Electric Vehicle charging stations in 9 locations in the West. The installations are happening now and have already been completed in 8 of the 9 store locations.

* Light bulbs: In January 2011, IKEA became the first major US retailer to stop the sale of all standard incandescent light bulbs. Instead IKEA will focus on selling a comprehensive range of energy saving lamps and bulbs including CFL (compact fluorescent light bulbs), LED, Halogen and Solar options.

* Co-worker Gift: In December 2010, IKEA US gave all co-workers (12,400 at the time) a bike as a thank you for their good work in the prior year. The bike promotes good health and sustainable transport.

* US Tree planting: Since 1998, IKEA US, its customers and co-workers have funded the planting of nearly 2 million trees across the US through its partner, American Forests. The trees are planted to help sequester CO2 which is generated by customer and co-workers transportation to the stores.